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Nanofibers can be used on a bandage or dressing to indicate whether a wound has developed a bacterial infection. (Credit: Colorado State University)

Researchers are working to create nanofibers that can be used on a bandage or dressing. Through a long process of lab synthesizing, the nanofibers indicate whether a wound has developed a bacterial infection.

The nanofibers are less than 100 nm in size, allowing the nanotechnology to accurately detect where the bacterial infection is located. The fibers start as a blue color and change to a pinkish or reddish color if bacteria are present. This early visual detection can be useful in many different applications.

With this nanotechnology, bacterial infections could be recognized much more quickly, allowing patients to receive treatment right away. Recognizing whether a bacterial infection is present can also help doctors know when antibiotics are needed and help reduce overprescribing, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant infections.

This could revolutionize one aspect of the healthcare industry and benefit groups like the military, senior living communities, nursing homes, and many other areas that face problems with bacterial infections.

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