This Smart Bandage Glows When It Detects Infections

Kirstin Fawcett
Vimeo / Vimeo

If you’ve ever been injured and worried about your wound's infection potential, this “smart” bandage designed by researchers at the University of Bath is meant to put your mind at ease.

According to MIT Technology Review, the bandage is infused with a gel that contains capsules filled with fluorescent green dye that burst and glow when they detect pathogenic bacteria. All you have to do is look down to see whether or not you’re in the early stages of infection—an easy and convenient way of staving off nasty health problems in the making. For some people, the bandage could even lessen the need for antibiotics, MIT Technology Review says.

The bandage is currently in prototype stages, and it hasn’t been tested on humans yet. However, a grant from the UK’s Medical Research Council will allow scientists to conduct further research. Doctors hope the bandage will reach clinical trials by 2018, and think it would be particularly beneficial for pediatric burn treatment patients. Since these children are often overprescribed antibiotics, they’re in danger of developing resistant strains of infection. With a little foresight—and a little bit of green dye—these medicines might not need to be used. Learn more about how the bandage works in the video here.    

[h/t MIT Technology Review]