Date of this Version
Published in Small, 2018
Chronic wounds are a major health concern and they affect the lives of more than 25 million people in the United States. They are susceptible to infection and are the leading cause of nontraumatic limb amputations worldwide. The wound environment is dynamic, but their healing rate can be enhanced by administration of therapies at the right time. This approach requires real-time monitoring of the wound environment with on-demand drug delivery in a closed-loop manner. In this paper, a smart and automated flexible wound dressing with temperature and pH sensors integrated onto flexible bandages that monitor wound status in real-time to address this unmet medical need is presented. Moreover, a stimuli-responsive drug releasing system comprising of a hydrogel loaded with thermo-responsive drug carriers and an electronically controlled flexible heater is also integrated into the wound dressing to release the drugs on-demand. The dressing is equipped with a microcontroller to process the data measured by the sensors and to program the drug release protocol for individualized treatment. This flexible smart wound dressing has the potential to significantly impact the treatment of chronic wounds.