The University of Bath will initiate a clinical trial of a smart bandage using samples from burns patients from four hospitals in the UK.
Developed by the University of Bath, the bandage changes colour as it detects infections.
It facilitates early detection of infections which paves the way for an improved treatment for burns patients while minimising the use of antibiotics and helps to combat the threat of drug-resistant bacteria.
During the double-blind trials, swabs and used dressings of burns patients will be used in laboratory tests at the University of Bath in order to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the smart bandage to infections.
The samples will also be tested by scientists at the University of Brighton to acquire genomic data from infection-causing bacteria which will help in enhancing the bandages’ performance.
The smart bandages are expected to serve as an alternative to existing diagnosis methods, which involve more time, requires removal of wound dressings and is a painful process as it can slow healing process and cause scarring.
Lead clinician of trial Dr Amber Young said: “Using patients’ samples to test the dressing's ability to detect infection will take us closer to the use of the dressing in patients.
“Diagnosing wound infection at the bedside in patients with burns will allow targeted treatment of those with true infection; allowing earlier healing and reduced scarring, as well as preventing overuse of antibiotics and unnecessary dressing removal in those patients with no infection.
“This will benefit both patients and the NHS.”
Image: The glowing bandage on the left denotes occurrence of infection. Photo: courtesy of University of Bath.