Miniature Sensor for Monitoring Wounds

miniature sensor

The team at Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust developed a miniature sensor. It is capable of monitoring wound conditions accurately.

Wound treatment is an issue most healthcare setups face because of the spiralling expenditure and overload of the health system. Moreover, wound management needs to be catered to urgently. This biosensor will help clinicians identify the early progression or deterioration of the wounds.

The aim of the team at NTU and NUH is to make a technology that would be embedded into dressings and will not require continuous removal or replacement for assessing wound healing. The researchers also claim that this textile-based protein sensor can reduce the risks of patients becoming extremely ill with time. Additionally, it can also prevent amputation, and save time, and money.

Patients are currently unable to assess their wound’s condition and removing the dressing is a must for health professionals to assess it visually. This is also time-consuming because it requires an appointment. In addition, removing the dressing also increases the risk of lengthening the process of healing, which makes scarring worse and may also cause an infection. Furthermore, checking the wound means replacing the dressing every time, which is also time-consuming.

A Miniature Sensor Printed into Fabric

The new sensor that has been printed into fabric will be integrated into the dressing. Moreover, electrodes will be used for immediate analysis of the concentration of specific wound proteins.

With the help of this app-based technology, patients will be able to get information about their wounds by holding their smartphones in close proximity to the dressing. However, if needed, they will be able to book a clinician’s appointment.


The miniature sensor is light and flexible. It can determine if a dressing requires a change, whether it can be taken off or if it has an infection. Moreover, the next step of the research is to work with consultants and providers of digital technologies to make it commercial.

Researcher Dr. Yang Wei said,

There is currently no way to monitor the condition of a wound without booking an appointment, having the dressing removed and taking a look

He further added,

The sensor analyzes chemical biomarkers to give an indication of whether a wound is healing or not and could help remove a range of risks associated with continuous and laborious removal and replacement of dressings. As well as improving patients’ quality of life, it could speed up the healing process, help to avoid infection and avoid worsening scars by removing dressings while they are still forming.

Wounds can take months to heal and this could potentially be of great benefit to many people. It enables patients to monitor the wound themselves and reducing worrying about their condition in addition to saving time and money in the process.

It would also be consistent and quantifiable and help to remove the subjective nature of assessing a wound.

Furthermore, Professor John Hunt, involved in the study, said,

This research addresses a clear need for improved treatments. The approach will not only deliver on improved wound healing, it will reduce patient worries, reduce visits either at home or with the healthcare provider and enable people to manage their health and maintain greater independence.

We are delighted to be facilitating this research in MTIF as digital health solutions are a key part of the world delivering on future health needs.


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