SMART SUTURES CAN SEND WIRELESS REPORTS DIRECTLY FROM WOUND
Flexible electronic medical devices are quickly moving forward. So now they are able to do everything from monitoring our muscles by tattoo until measuring our blood oxygen levels through our skin. The next for flexible electronics is incorporating them into the surgical threads that can control the body from the stitching point and transmit the data to a Bluetooth-enabled device.
The variety of materials which surgical sutures are made of, are able to absorb and direct liquids of a body. During the experiment in the laboratory it was found that such surgical threads are able to collect data on their surroundings including the pressure, stress and temperature at the suture site. They were also able to measure the pH and glucose levels. And these indicators can consider as key markers in identifying how well a wound is healing and whether or not infection has set in.
The electrical resistance of coated with carbon nanotubes polyurethane threads can be changed be-by induced on them strain. By following the electrical resistance, it’s possible to evaluate the process of wound healing. And this hypothesis was used in the study to track wound closure in mice. The resistance in metal surgical sutures varies with temperature, so by controlling them, it’s possible to find out if the wound site is too hot, which will be a sign of infection.
In the skin of the mice was a half credit card sized circuit board where surgical sutures were enclosed to. By using Bluetooth that board could send data to a computer or smartphone.