Media New Atlas reported that if someone suffers from chronic wounds such as diabetic skin ulcers, it is vital that doctors continue to understand the condition. Now researchers have developed a graphene-based bandage designed to remotely monitor wounds. The device was developed by biotech start-up Grapheal, a spin-off of France’s National Centre for Scientific Research.
It consists of a polymer film substrate and embedded flexible electronics, including graphene electrodes that come into direct contact with the wound. Graphene is a conductive material, a carbon atom with sp2 hybrid orbit sp2 to form a hexagonal shape of a beehive lattice of two-dimensional carbon nanomaterial.
As the chemical properties of the wound change (e.g. as the infection increases its pH), so does the conductivity of the graphene electrode. The data is wirelessly transmitted from the bandage to a nearby smartphone or tablet and then sent from the patient’s home to a cloud-based server for analysis. The doctor or nurse can then view the wound online without having to see the patient in person or remove the bandage. As an added bonus, because graphene has well-known antibacterial properties, bandages are also reported to help promote wound healing.
Human trials of the technology are about to begin and are expected to be commercially available in about three years.