Mind & Matter


Smart Textile Communicates Wound Health

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Smart bandage reveals wound health. Photo: Louise van der Werff, CSIRO.


One of the biggest benefits of smart materials is their ability to diagnose and communicate important changes in their environment. One compelling application is a smart bandage that reveals the state of the wound it protects. Developed by materials scientists at Australia’s Monash University and CSIRO, the bandage is made of thermochromic fiber that changes color in response to wound temperature.

“We’ve created a fabric that changes color in response to temperature—showing changes of less than 0.5 of a degree,” says Monash lead inventor Louise van der Werff. “We expect that, when incorporated into a bandage it will allow nurses to quickly identify healing problems such as infection or interruptions to the blood supply, which are typically accompanied by a local increase or decrease in temperature.”

The technology will be developed for commercial use in six months, at which time it will be initially targeted for chronic wound patients.




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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.