Right now we’re learning about infection control at school. Since I spent 40 hours in a hospital each week, I’m trying to absorb every bit of information possible. It’s actually quite fascinating, and I regret never taking microbiology because I think I’d love it.
Anyway, it was perfect timing that an article about early infection detection popped up in my Facebook News Feed today. It appears that scientists have created a prototype wound dressing that’s able to detect the presence of bacteria at a much earlier stage of infection.
The dressing is triggered by a biofilm, a substance created by colonizing bacteria. It’s made up of DNA, proteins, and complex sugars. If detected, the dressing will react with it and turn a bright fluorescent color.
Infection is the most likely reason people wind up back in the hospital following surgery. A wound dressing like this one could certainly help to reduce the number of post-op infections. In testing, the dressing was able to detect the presence of bacteria within four hours from the initial invasion.