It’s quite difficult to trace early-stage infections, and doctors prefer to stay in their comfort zone and administer preventive antibiotics. However, scientists have found a more effective solution.
Toby Jenkins, a chemistry teacher at the University of Bath, has created a “smart” bandage, which although has not yet been tested on humans, could one day serve as an alerting system. The bandage allows doctors and patients to detect infections before they get out of control. The mechanism behind it is fairly simple: the bandage contains a material infused with fluorescent, green paint. When in contact with toxins produced by pathogenic bacteria, the capsules are broken, and the bandage becomes green.
An application could be the treatment of burns. Victims often receive preventive antibiotics, because doctors are very worried about the possible infection. However, various complications may occur.
In a recent demonstration, Jenkins and his colleagues have showed their bandage changing its color to green shortly after it comes in contact with three filaments with pathogens and not changing at all when it gets in contact with harmless bacteria. If all the upcoming tests come out well, the “smart” bandage would be ready for clinical tests as early as 2018. Let us hope that that will happen before the zombie apocalypse (sic!).