Pressure ulcers occur before patients notice them and they are difficult to manage. Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, have now created a flexible sensor, which can detect pressure-caused tissue damage before it is visible to the human eye.
The device makes use of impedance spectroscopy to map out the tissue below its electrode array. When tested on rats, the variations in the map correlate with tissue damage.
A high-resolution map can be created, as dozens of electrodes are spaced just millimetres away from each other. Tissue with lots of injured cells lets electricity pass through while healthy tissue resists the passage of electricity.
The non-invasive technology should be tested on human subjects before it is commercialised. This technology can be applied to design bed sheets capable of sensing the body and may be even smart underwear for wheelchair users.