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.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters utilize drone for first time in live situation

Aerial device feeds intel to crews to help formulate firefighting action plans

Barge bound for benefits

San Juan Community Home Trust and Nickel Bros. give homes new life

UVic announces finalists for Female Athlete of the Year

Rower Caileigh Filmer, swimmer Danielle Hanus, and soccer goalie Puck Louwes are top stand-outs

Jazz songstress Ellen Doty brings her sweet sound to Hermann’s Jazz Club

March 27 concert in Victoria part of national CD release tour

Victoria says #NeverAgain in solidarity with March For Our Lives

Youth Political Commons invites public to rally against gun violence March 24 at legislature

Student learns the ropes at Oak Bay fire in hands-on experience

Local department crafts four-day work experience program for Reynolds student

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Charges formally laid against Nanaimo city manager

City of Nanaimo CAO Tracy Renee Samra charged with fear of injury/damage by another person

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Most Read