New Color-Changing Bandage Can Detect Drug-Resistant Infectionsadmin
To combat the ever-growing threat of antibiotic-resistant infections, a team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a product IFLScience.com is calling “a handy kind of medical traffic light system.”
The paper-based bandages they developed change color depending on whether or not a bacterial infection is present and if it is resistant to antibiotics; remaining green if no infection is present, turning yellow if it detects the change in acidity that indicates an infection is present, and ultimately turning red if the antibiotic released by the bandage cannot treat the infection. The bandage is even capable of releasing a reactive oxygen species that will kill or weaken the bacteria, making it more susceptible to antibiotics, when activated by a specific wavelength of light.
“Our design can alleviate off-target side effects, maximize therapeutic efficacy, and track the drug resistance in real-time with the naked eye,” the researchers wrote in ACS Central Science.
While so far the bandage has only been tested on mice, the team found it successfully sped up the healing of wounds infected with both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains of E. coli.
“This work develops a new way for the rational use of antibiotics. Given the low cost and easy operation of this point-of-care device, it can be developed for practical applications,” the team wrote.