Today’s Solutions: April 21, 2024

Scientists in Australia have developed a bandage that glows if the wound under wraps has become infected. This means that wounds that do not develop infections will heal faster, as removing bandages to check for infections delays healing.

The bandage, which is currently being developed at RMIT University, is comprised of a material with nanosheets of magnesium hydroxide embedded onto the nanofibers of a standard cotton bandage. When wrapped around a wound, especially a chronic wound like a diabetic ulcer, the biocompatible magnesium hydroxide begins to support the healing process by killing harmful bacteria and reducing inflammation.

If a wound becomes infected, then it will shift from being slightly acidic (like healthy skin), to being more alkaline. The resulting change in pH will make the magnesium hydroxide fluoresce brightly when under ultraviolet light.

This means that physicians could check for infections without removing any bandages. All they must do is shine a UV light on the bandage. This is also helpful for wounds that are already known to be infected, as the UV light would indicate whether the infection has cleared up or not.

During lab tests, the magnesium hydroxide bandage continued to function effectively for up to seven days, though it begins to lose its bacteria-killing abilities after just a few days.

Lead scientist Dr. Vi Khanh Truong says that the manufacturing process for this material could be easily scaled up for commercial production. The bandages may also be “up to 20 times cheaper” than other antibacterial dressings on the market.

Source Study: ACS Applied Materials & InterfacesFluorescent magnesium hydroxide nanosheet bandages with tailored properties for biocompatible antimicrobial wound dressings and pH monitoring.

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