Smart Stitches Can Keep a Doctor Informed on How Wounds Are Healing

smart-stitches-monitor-wounds

These days, everything is getting a little smarter: Even the threads used to close up a wound.

A group of researchers, led by Tufts University engineers, have integrated tiny sensors and electronics into threads to create smart sutures that can monitor wounds as they heal. According to a news release from the school, the researchers started with a variety of threads ranging from simple cotton to synthetics, dipped them in “physical and chemical sensing compounds,” and connected them to a wireless electronic circuitry.

The result? Sutures with embedded “nano-scale sensors, electronics, and microfluidics” that can collect data on tissue health, monitoring things like pressure, stress, strain, and temperature, as well as pH and glucose levels. Moreover, as they collect this data, the sutures can transmit it wirelessly, in real-time to a cell phone and/or computer, giving doctors a better idea of how a wound is healing, whether an infection is starting, or whether the body’s chemistry is off.

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SOURCE: PC Mag, Angela Moscaritolo