01 July 2021

Bandages with healing sensors

The global market for advanced dressings is currently estimated at approximately US$ 6.9 billion and is expected to grow to US$ 9.9 billion by 2028, with demand supported by technological innovations, an increase in the number of surgical procedures and an increase in the prevalence of chronic wounds and chronic diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. The development of inexpensive antimicrobial dressings with integrated healing sensors will be a significant step forward in wound care.

It is known that magnesium has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties and high biocompatibility, but studies on whether it can be used on medical materials have not been conducted. The smart bandages, developed by a group of scientists and engineers from Melbourne's Royal University of Technology, use the powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties of magnesium hydroxide.

Currently, the only way to check the progress of wound healing is to remove the bandage, which is a painful and dangerous risk of infection. The new dressings not only fight bacteria and reduce inflammation to promote healing, they are able to track healing and signal infection of the wound. This will reduce the need for frequent changes of bandages.

The research team synthesized the smallest, one hundred thousand times thinner than a human hair, plates of magnesium hydroxide and placed them on nanofibers. Magnesium hydroxide reacts to a change in pH. Under ultraviolet light, it glows brightly in an alkaline environment and dims in an acidic one, indicating various stages of wound healing (healthy skin is slightly acidic, while infected wounds are moderately alkaline).


Nanoplastics are easily integrated into any biocompatible nanofiber, which means that they can also be applied to standard cotton bandages.

Laboratory tests have shown that magnesium hydroxide nanoplates are non-toxic to living cells, while destroying various pathogens, including drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Candida auris fungus.

Antimicrobial dressings often lose their effectiveness after a few days, but a new study has shown that the effect of magnesium hydroxide can last up to a week. In addition, magnesium bandages are up to 20 times cheaper to produce than silver-based bandages.

The research team plans to collaborate with clinicians to further develop the technology in preclinical and clinical studies.

Article A.Truskewycz et al. Fluorescent Magnesium Hydroxide Nanosheet Bands with Tailored Properties for Biocompatible Antimicrobial Wound Dressings and pH Monitoring is published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Aminat Adzhieva, portal "Eternal Youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of RMIT University: Advanced care: Smart wound dressings with built-in healing sensors.

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