NUS researchers develop smart bandage to monitor chronic wounds

02 November 2021

Researchers at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Biomedical Engineering and Institute for Health Innovation and Technology (iHealthtech) have collaborated with Singapore General Hospital’s clinical partners to develop a smart bandage for monitoring chronic wounds.

The new wound sensing bandage can detect bacteria type, pH, temperature and inflammatory factors specific to chronic wounds.

It can send the data within 15 minutes, enabling fast and accurate assessment of such wounds, leading to timely care and proper treatment.

The smart bandage is said to be part of the VeCare platform, which assesses wounds and also comprises an electronic chip and mobile app.

The bandage features a breathable outer barrier, flexible immunosensor, wound contact layer and microfluidic wound fluid collector.

It uses an electrochemical system to detect multiple chronic wound biomarkers and facilitates the assessment of the wound’s inflammation, microenvironment and state of infection.

NUS iHealthtech director Professor Lim Chwee Teck said: “The VeCare platform is easily scalable and customisable to accommodate different panels of biomarkers to monitor various types of wounds.

“The aim is to have an effective and easy-to-use diagnostic and prognostic tool for precise and data-driven clinical management of patients.”

NUS stated that the microfluidic wound fluid collector, which comes along with the sensor, helps in directing and enhancing the delivery of the wound fluid to the sensor by up to 180%.

Embedded with flexible electronics, the microchip is connected to the sensor, enabling data transmission wirelessly to the app for real-time analysis and on-site assessment.

Both, the mobile app and VeCare platform allow doctors to monitor the patients’ chronic wound condition remotely.

Lim added: “Point-of-care devices, coupled with telehealth or digital health capability, can play a significant role in transforming the healthcare industry and our society, which is catalysed by the Covid-19 pandemic requirements for safe distancing.

“Our smart bandage technology is the first of its kind designed for chronic wound management to give patients the freedom to perform the test and monitor their wound conditions at home.”

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