Technology: Band-Aids That Alert Us To Infection

Here we go again. Yep, this is another thing that I will be telling my grandchildren, “When I was little, we had to rip the band-aid off our cut to check to see if it was healing or infected. And it hurt!” At least, that’s the way I remember it.

Some really smart and practical scientists at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT in Germany have created a band-aid that turns colors when the cut that it’s covering becomes infected.

How does it do that? It does it by recognizing a change in our pH level. When we get an infection, our pH level increases to 6.5 – 8.5. If and when this happens while we are wearing one of these band-aids, it will turn purple to alert us. This is a little more complicated than it sounds since not only did they create an infection indicator, but also, they had to make sure that the purple indicator dye didn’t react with the infection itself, causing even more problems. These scientists are trying to perfect this new technology even further by creating a series of indicators that show the progress of the healing in stages, in addition to the initial infection itself. Wow, I could see this same technology being applied in so many different ways!

In case you are still a fan of ripping off your band-aids, you might like to know that according to this article, Australian researchers have determined that it hurts way more to pull it off slowly than to just yank it off fast. If you are a man (or a woman) with a ton of hair in that area, your results could be different. Yes, believe it or not, someone actually did a study on this. Hmm… I think these special band-aids are far more useful than the bling bling Swarovski Crystal band-aids I wrote about previously, don’t you think? :)

[via Gizmag]