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Innovative paper-like, battery-free, AI-enabled sensor for holistic wound monitoring

Jun 26, 2023

Timely and effective monitoring of wound healing status is critical to wound care and management. Impaired wound healing, such as chronic wounds (i.e. those that do not heal after 3 months) and post-burn pathological scars, could result in life-threatening medical complications and considerable economic burden to patients and healthcare systems worldwide.

A recent invention by a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), provides a simple, convenient and effective way of monitoring wound recovery so that clinical intervention can be triggered in a timely manner to improve wound care and management.

Currently, wound healing is typically examined visually by a clinician. Wound infections are mostly diagnosed via swabbing followed by a bacteria culture which involves long waiting time and does not provide timely wound diagnosis. This makes accurate prediction of wound healing challenging in the clinical setting. In addition, wound assessment typically requires frequent manual removal of dressing, which elevates the risks of infection and may cause additional pain and trauma for patients.

The PETAL (Paper-like Battery-free In situ AI-enabled Multiplexed) sensor patch comprises of 5 colorimetric sensors that can determine the patient’s wound healing status within 15 minutes by measuring a combination of biomarkers – temperature, pH, trimethylamine, uric acid and moisture of the wound. These biomarkers were carefully selected to effectively assess wound inflammation, infection as well as the condition of the wound environment.


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