UVic bioengineer develops bandage with smart phone app

Patent-pending bandage monitors wound sites to detect earliest signs of bacterial infection

A “smart bandage” that detects and treats infection using a smartphone app has the potential for transformative advances in wound care, according to University of Victoria bioengineer Mohsen Akbari.

“This all-in-one bandage that detects infection and administers treatment without having to be removed will reduce costs and save lives,” says Akbari. GelDerm’s ability to administer antibiotics directly at the wound site rather than through a general course of medication also reduces problems of antibiotic overuse, such as the growth in drug-resistant “superbugs” that now kill 10 million people annually.

Akbari is the principal investigator of a study published this week in an international journal which describes the science behind the innovation.

Akbari and his UVic-based research team – with collaborators from Harvard Medical School and UBC – are working with UVic Industry Partnerships to commercialize GelDerm, a patent-pending bandage that monitors pH levels at wound sites to detect the earliest signs of bacterial infection.

A patient using GelDerm will be able to scan over the bandage’s embedded sensors with a smartphone app to gauge whether infection has set in. The information can be used for self-monitoring and can be relayed wirelessly to a patient’s healthcare team for follow-up. Should antibiotics be required to treat an incipient infection, they can be administered directly through the bandage without having to remove it.

“There is a pressing need to develop advanced dressings that are capable of monitoring wound conditions and providing proper treatment when necessary,” said Akbari. “The proposed technology holds great promise in managing chronic and acute injuries caused by trauma, surgery or diabetes.”

Skin is the largest organ in the body, and an important barrier against bacteria and other pathogens. GelDerm’s ability to spot infection through changes in pH levels and localize antibiotic treatment at the wound site means potentially life-threatening infection is identified and treated quickly.

While electronics-based approaches to wound care are already being developed by several researchers around the world, Akbari says GelDerm is the first that functions without a power source and whose readings aren’t compromised by the multitude of substances that leak from a wound. Akbari anticipates the bandage could be on the market within five years once industry partners have been identified.

The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Canadian Foundation for Innovation. Collaborators include Dr. Aziz Ghahary of the University of British Columbia and Yu Shrike Zhang at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as UVic’s Bahram Mirani (lead author) and others working in the Centre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology, the Centre for Biomedical Research, and Akbari’s own lab, the Laboratory for Innovations in Microengineering.


 

@OakBayNews
cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Juan de Fuca curlers ‘reeling’ after learning rink will be replaced with dry floor

West Shore Parks & Recreation board says curling rinks not getting enough use

The rock is no more for Oak Bay ‘Sea Lore’

Council calls for change to controversial location proposed for art installation

Metchosin driver striking a deer heralds a need for caution

Vehicle incident likely not the last of its kind in Greater Victoria

Mary Winspear offers out-of-this-world evening with Chris Hadfield

Tickets on sale March 22 for Colonel Chris Hadfield visit May 7

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Most Read