Smart Stitches Will Help You Heal Better

Posted: Jul 21 2016, 8:50am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Smart Stitches will Help You Heal Better
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In the past, we've talked about flexible electronics that work within or on the body to help monitor someone's health. This field is extremely exciting and advancing quickly. We can do everything from measuring our blood levels through the skin to monitoring how our muscles work with a tattoo. However, a team of researchers from Tufts University have found the most exciting invention for healthcare in a while - smart stitches that will monitor how the body heals itself using Bluetooth.

The sutures are made up of different materials that absorb and read bodily fluids.

Credit: Tufts University

"We have a suite of threads," Tuft's Sameer Sonkusale said. "Cotton coated with carbon nanotubes, cotton coated with graphitic carbon, and threads electroplated with copper, platinum or silver."

The team has also used stretchable polyurethane threads covered with carbon nanotubes.

Once it was put into place in both mice and tissue samples, the threads were then able to collect data on their surroundings. They were able to monitor pressure, stress, temperature, and other variances like glucose levels and pH. They could also tell you how things were healing and whether or not infection had set in.

Sonkusale said, for example, that the threads could tell if the wound was closing thanks to the amount of strain put on them. Similarly, the sutures can tell temperature, so they knew if there was an infection thanks to the heat.

"The ability to suture a thread-based diagnostic device intimately in a tissue or organ environment in three dimensions adds a unique feature that is not available with other flexible diagnostic platforms," said Sonkusale. "We think thread-based devices could potentially be used as smart sutures for surgical implants, smart bandages to monitor wound healing, or integrated with textile or fabric as personalized health monitors and point-of-care diagnostics."

The work of Sonkusale and his team was published online today in the journal Microsystems & Nanoengineering.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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