An innovative sensor patch provides a simple, convenient, and effective way of monitoring wound recovery so that clinical intervention can be triggered in a timely manner to improve wound care and management.

The PETAL (Paper-like Battery-free In situ AI-enabled Multiplexed) sensor patch comprises of five colorimetric sensors that can determine the patient’s wound healing status within 15 minutes by measuring a combination of biomarkers — temperature, pH, trimethylamine, uric acid, and moisture of the wound. These biomarkers were carefully selected to effectively assess wound inflammation and infection as well as the condition of the wound environment.

The patch operates without an energy source — sensor images are captured by a mobile phone and analyzed by AI algorithms to determine the patient’s healing status. Each PETAL sensor patch consists of a fluidic panel patterned in the form of a five-petal pinwheel flower, with each ‘petal’ acting as a sensing region. An opening in the center of the fluidic panel collects fluid from wound and distributes the fluid evenly via five sampling channels to the sensing regions for analysis. Each sensing region uses a different color-changing chemical to detect and measure the respective wound indicators.

The fluidic panel is sandwiched between two thin films. The top transparent silicone layer allows for normal skin functions of oxygen and moisture exchange, and it also enables image display for accurate image capture and analysis. The bottom wound contact layer gently attaches the sensor patch to the skin and protects the wound bed from direct contact with the sensor panel, to minimize wound tissue disruptions. (Image credit: National University of Singapore)

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