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The University of Southampton
Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin Network

University of Southampton Project


Battery free smart bandage

Bandages (or plasters) are textiles which are used on the skin to protect a wound and also prevent contamination from the environment (e.g. dirt). Smart textiles are conventional textiles within which electronics are incorporated in order to provide additional functionality such as sensing (e.g. temperature). A smart bandage is a textile which includes sensors to assess wound healing or infection; a smart bandage provides the health care provider with information about wound healing. The sensed information provided by the smart bandage can be transmitted wirelessly to the health care provider reducing the need to remove the bandage to inspect the wound. Removal of the bandage for wound inspection can cause damage to the wound and uses valuable staff time. A smart bandage may also be used by the patient to assess his/her own skin wound condition.

This proposal tackles the challenge of fabricating a smart bandage to achieve sensing, information transfer and battery free operation. A temperature and humidity sensor will be integrated in a standard bandage as well as the required devices for powering and wireless transmission of data. Recently developed fabrication processes will allow the mechanical properties of the smart bandage to be similar to a standard bandage.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Southampton’s Smart Electronics and Materials (SEMS) group in the Department of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) and an industrial partner, Urgo Ltd. These groups offer the required complementary and necessary expertise in smart textiles, printed devices and processing, as well as market, application and clinical requirements.

Smart bandages can provide simple wound monitoring for the user at home and also the professional to monitor groups of patients.
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