Breakthrough could see cheaper, better bandages with built-in infection detection


RMIT University researchers have published results pointing the way to manufacturing of antimicrobial wound care products with built-in nanosensors.

The team developed new magnesium hydroxide-based bandages, which have antibacterial and antifungal properties, and glow fluorescent under UV light if infections begin.

Magnesium has known beneficial wound care properties, but there had been a lack of applied research in its use in “medically-relevant surfaces” according to a statement from RMIT, which said the work could lead to a collection of improvements in wound treatment.

“Currently the only way to check the progress of wounds is by removing bandage dressings, which is both painful and risky, giving pathogens the chance to attack,” said Project leader Dr Vi Khanh Truong.

“Being able to easily see if something is going wrong would reduce the need for frequent dressing changes and help to keep wounds better protected.

“With further research, we hope our multifunctional dressings could become part of a new generation of low-cost, magnesium-based technologies for advanced wound care.”

Truong added that the process to make fluorescent nanosheets — easily integrated onto any biocompatible nanofibre — was scalable for potential manufacturing, and potentially 20 times cheaper than current silver-based dressings.

According to Grand View Research, the advanced wound dressing market would grow 5.5 per cent year-on-year to 2028, and was worth $UD 6.6 billion in 2020.

The team’s work was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and InterfacesThey are now looking for collaborators on pre-clinical and clinical trials.

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