Wound monitor 'sniffs out' infections

March 14, 2006

The University of Manchester has received £1m to develop a new device able to 'sniff out' harmful infections. The funding will be used to create a non-invasive wound monitor to treat patients with severe burns, skin ulcers or gaping wounds.

The aim is to produce a device which is able to detect harmful bacteria in the air, which may signal the first signs of infection. When bacteria metabolises inside a wound molecules of that bacteria are emitted into the air.

Current methods rely on medical staff taking swabs from a wound and testing them in a lab, which can take several days.

Professor Krishna Persaud, of The University of Manchester's School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, who will coordinate the European-wide project, said: "Current methods make it difficult to detect infections at an early stage and can be extremely invasive causing the patient a great deal of discomfort".

"Our aim is to produce a non-invasive system that can monitor the state of a patient's wounds simply by detecting bad bacteria in the air emitted from the wound. Using state of the sensors we will be able to detect and diagnose the presence of an infection almost instantaneously."

The device will use new hybrid sensor technology with a mobile laboratory-based multi-technology gas sensor array and pattern recognition system, enabling the rapid analyses of molecules in the air. It is envisaged that the monitor will be take the form of a mobile unit which sits alongside other monitoring equipment next to the patient.

Key applications for the device will include monitoring trauma injuries, chronic ulcers and in military field hospitals.

Source: University of Manchester

Explore further: Peppermint oil and cinnamon could help treat and heal chronic wounds

Related Stories

Nanopaper as an optical sensing platform

July 23, 2015

An international team led by the ICREA Prof Arben Merkoçi has just developed new sensing platforms based on bacterial cellulose nanopaper. These novel platforms are simple, low cost and easy to produce and present outstanding ...

Plasma makes wounds heal quicker

June 8, 2015

Many people suffer from skin disorders. Open wounds are a particularly acute problem, especially among the elderly. PlasmaDerm, a new medical technology solution, uses plasma to facilitate faster healing of wounds.

Cellulose with Braille for cells

January 19, 2015

Artificial implants such as pacemakers often cause complications because the body identifies them as foreign objects. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now demonstrated a simple method to fabricate cellulose-sheaths for implants, ...

Recommended for you

Water heals a bioplastic

September 1, 2015

A drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according ...

Orangutan females prefer dominant, cheek-padded males

September 1, 2015

Unlike most mammals, mature male orangutans exhibit different facial characteristics: some develop large "cheek pads" on their faces; other males do not. A team of researchers studied the difference in reproductive success ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.