In Brief

Engineers at UC Berkeley are developing a bandage that uses electrical currents to identify early tissue damage from bedsores

A smart bandage that uses electrical currents and utilizes flexible electronics is being developed by engineers at UC Berkeley. The bandage is able to detect early tissue damage from bedsores while they are still invisible to the naked eye. It could be used by doctors spot-checking patients in order to identify the problem before they can see it, and while the possibility for recovery is still high.

The engineers printed dozens of electrodes onto a thin and flexible film, then discharged a tiny current between the electrodes. This created a spatial map of the underlying tissue based on the flow of electricity at different frequencies, a technique which is known as “impedance spectroscopy.” They tested the bandage on rats and found that it was able to consistently detect varying degrees of tissue damage across different subjects.

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