New patch recognizes wound suppuration

German scientists have developed a patch that changes color when an infection develops in a wound, reports the Daily Mail. Dressing and closing the wound with a bandage or plaster does not always completely protect against infection that causes suppuration. Moreover, such an infection can develop much faster than the replacement of the patch.

To recognize suppuration at its earliest stages, researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institute for Modular Solid State Technology have developed an indicator patch. Its action is based on the fact that the infection changes the acid-base balance of tissues. Healthy skin and an uninfected wound have a pH below five. With the development of infection, the pH rises to 6.5 – 8.5. The indicator in the material from which the patch is made reacts to a change in pH, turning from yellow to purple.

According to development leader Sabine Trupp, the research team had to overcome a number of difficulties in order to firmly bond the indicator to the fibers of the material while maintaining its chemical stability. The patch prototype was successfully tested in the laboratory. Currently, its clinical trials are planned on the basis of the dermatological clinic of the University of Regensburg