The National University of Singapore research group designed a new wearable sensor that can do real-time, point-of-care assessments of chronic wounds with an app. The new sensor technology can measure temperature, inflammatory markers, pH, and bacteria type related to chronic wounds around 15 minutes, allowing for quick, accurate wound analysis.
Existing medical wound assessments depend on various inspections or the collection and shipment of wound fluid to a centralized lab for detection and analysis of biomarkers. The entire process often takes around 2 days and may obstruct proper, timely, and accurate medical treatments. Even though there have been significant advancements in flexible sensors developed for wound healing, they only can examine a limited number of markers to assess wound inflammation, such as acidity, oxygen, temperature, impedance, and uric acid. To address these constraints, the researchers created VeCare, a point-of-care wound evaluation platform comprised of a unique wound-sensing bandage, a mobile application, and an electronic chipset.
A breathable exterior barrier, a flexible immunosensor, a wound contact layer, and a microfluidic wound fluid collection are all part of the bandage. VeCare is a first-ever wound assessment platform capable of detecting bacteria type and analyzing inflammatory markers, as well as assessing temperature and acidity, in a 15-minute test. The immunosensing bandage detects several chronic wound-specific biomarkers from wound fluid using an electrochemical device, allowing for quick assessment of wound microenvironment, inflammation, and infection condition. The sensor's microfluidic wound fluid collector guides and enhances wound fluid delivery to the sensor by around 180 %. The architecture ensures consistent sensitivity irrespective of the size or shape of the ulcer.
Furthermore, a chip combined with wearable electronics is linked to the sensor to wirelessly communicate data to an application for quick, real-time wound assessment and evaluation on the spot. The chip component, which is powered by a rechargeable battery, can be reused for future applications. The VeCare platform and mobile application allow clinicians to remotely monitor the state of patients' chronic wounds, eliminating the need for patients to visit the clinic. The bandage supplements the patient's current medical care while also allowing for quick medical assistance for the wound recovery process.