A smart wearable sensor conducts real-time, point-of-care assessment of chronic wounds wirelessly via an app. The novel sensor technology can detect temperature, pH, bacteria type, and inflammatory factors specific to chronic wounds within 15 minutes, hence enabling fast and accurate wound assessment.
In response to current limitations, the researchers developed VeCare, a point-of-care wound assessment platform consisting of an innovative wound sensing bandage, an electronic chip, and a mobile app. The bandage comprises a wound contact layer, a breathable outer barrier, a microfluidic wound fluid collector and a flexible immunosensor.
VeCare is the first wound assessment platform that can detect bacteria type and probe inflammatory factors, in addition to measuring acidity and temperature, within a single 15-minute test. The immunosensing bandage enables rapid assessment of wound microenvironment, inflammation, and infection state by detecting multiple chronic wound-specific biomarkers from wound fluid using an electrochemical system.
The microfluidic wound fluid collector attached to the sensor directs and boosts wound fluid delivery to the sensor by up to 180 percent. The design ensures reliable sensing performance regardless of the ulcer shape or size.
In addition, a chip integrated with flexible electronics is connected to the sensor to transmit data wirelessly to an app for convenient, real-time wound assessment and analysis onsite. The chip component, powered with a rechargeable battery, can be reused for subsequent applications.