Infections to wounds, such as burns, among children often turn fatal very quickly. Now researchers at University of Bath have developed a new medical dressing that 'lights up' when the burn wound becomes infected.
The dressing is still in a prototype stage and was featured on BBC science show Bang Goes the Theory. The dressing glows under UV light if the wound is infected, thereby providing doctors with a fast diagnosis which can potentially save the lives of the victims.
The dressing contains nanocapsules which are filled up with a dye and which burst open when it comes in contact with disease-causing bacteria. The doctors can then use UV light to check the presence of such bacteria.
"The big problem for clinicians is the fast diagnosis of infection. Current methods take between 24 and 48 hours to get an answer as to whether the wound is infected. However, our burns dressing gives a simple color change under UV light if a pathogenic, disease-causing bacteria is present in the burn, meaning clinicians can be alerted quickly to a potential infection", Bath University's Dr Toby Jenkins said.