Wound dressing glows to show infection19th September 2011
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have developed a type of bandage that glows when an infection is present.
The team created a gel which contains molecules which latch on to bacteria and switch on a pink fluorescent dye.
The bandage then shows a pink glow when it is passed under UV light and indicates that a wound is infected.
Scientists think the bandage could be helpful in treating people with chronic conditions such as ulcers or for the army to use on the battlefield.
The research has been part funded by the Ministry of Defence.
Professor Sheila MacNeil, one of the researchers at the University of Sheffield, said: "If you know you've got infection it's going to change how you treat your soldiers, it's going to change how you're going to treat those patients in the home. We could get to an early-stage clinical trial in two to three years."
An additional benefit offered by the gel is that it can eradicate up to 80% of surface bacteria in three hours.
At present, infection has to be verified over the course of several days by growing swabs from samples in the lab.
Project leader Dr Steve Rimmer said: "The availability of these gels would help clinicians and wound care nurses to make rapid, informed decisions about wound management, and help reduce the overuse of antibiotics."
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