Diamond-studded silk wound dressing detects infection and improves healing

Scientists have developed a next generation wound dressing that can detect infection and improve healing in burns, skin grafts and chronic wounds.

In research led by RMIT University’s Dr Asma Khalid, smart wound dressings made of silk and nano-diamonds effectively sensed wound temperature, an early sign of infection, promoted healing and reduced infection from certain bacteria.

Diamond silk fibers are electrospun to form porous membranes, shown in bluish green colour, with the golden-brown color representing the skin cell growth on the membrane. Credit: color-enhanced image treatment by Daniel Oldfield

Senior researcher Professor Brant Gibson said it offered a solution to the global challenge of wound care and healing.

“Traditional wound management presents a significant challenge for clinicians, who have to regularly check for infection by looking for signs of redness, heat and swelling,” he said.

“However, once these visual signs appear, inflammation and infection are far advanced, making therapies or interventions substantially more challenging.

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