According to 2018 report by the World Health Organization, antibiotic resistance continues to rise to in all parts of the world. It is now getting to a point where infections like gonorrhoea, pneumonia, and food-borne diseases are becoming harder to treat, nearing the point where they soon become treatment will be impossible.
To address this issue, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science have created a type of bandage that can sense and treat bacterial infections, even when the pathogen shows resistance.
According to a paper published in ACS Central Science, the paper-based bandage initially starts out green in colour, however, if the materials embedded into the bandage detect symptoms of a bacterial infection, like an acidic environment beneath the bandage for example, it will turn yellow and release an antibiotic that kills drug-sensitive (DS), or non-resistant bacterias. If the bandage turns red, that means it has detected a drug-resistant (DR) bacteria that needs extra help to be treated. Imagine the bandage as a traffic light. Green means you’re good to go, yellow means there’s a slight infection, and red indicates a higher concentration of drug-resistant bacteria.
Color-changing bandages sense and treat bacterial infections. Researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have developed color-changing bandages that can sense drug-resistant and drug-sensitive bacteria in wounds and treat them accordingly. #medtech https://t.co/JjXxFPompw
— Heriot-Watt Medical Education Lab (@HeriotWattMEL) January 29, 2020
“Sensing bacterial infections and monitoring drug resistance are very important for the selection of treatment options,” researchers wrote in their paper.
Currently, the bandage has been tested on mice and successfully detected an E.coli infection. If the team of researchers are able to perfect their colour changing bandage, it could provide a low-cost, effective way of monitoring wounds in areas of the world where healthcare is less than ideal.