The wound dressings of the future won’t just stop us from from bleeding — they will also detect infection and release antibiotic treatments as necessary. Researchers at the University of Bath and the Southwest UK Paediatric Burns Centre have designed a dressing that detects disease-causing pathogens, releases antibiotics from nanocapsules, and even changes color to indicate that an antibiotic has been released.
The dressing is completely safe — researchers have formulated it so that it only responds to harmful bacteria, and it doesn’t need to be removed when a wound is infected because of its built-in antibiotics.
No word yet on a potential release date, but the research team expects to spend the next four years perfecting the dressing’s color-changing dye mechanism and making the technology affordable enough for the developing world. And once that happens, the nanotechnology-powered dressing could be a lifesaver for burn victims whose wounds become infected far too often.
Lead photo by Nic Delves-Broughton