Wearable sensors imitate the skin to help cure wounds

Biosensors are analytical devices that combine a biological component with a physiochemical detector to observe and analyze a chemical and its body reaction. Conventional biosensor technology, while a major medical advance, still has limitations to be overcome and improvements to improve their functionality.

But the researchers at US-based Binghamton University have developed a skin-inspired, open-mesh electromechanical sensor that can mimic skin and monitor real-time wounds, helping them heal faster. It can monitor the skin’s lactate and oxygen.

“Finally, we hope these sensors and engineering achievements can help advance healthcare applications and provide a better quantitative understanding of disease progression, wound care, overall health, fitness monitoring and more,” said Matthew Brown, a PhD student at Binghamton University.

Researchers designed a sensor similar to the skin’s micro architecture. This wearable sensor has gold sensor cables that can exhibit similar mechanics to skin elasticity. They hope to create a new sensor mode to seamlessly mix with the wearer’s body to maximize body analysis to help understand chemical and physiological information.

“This topic was interesting to us because we were very interested in evaluating wound healing progress on-site in the near future,” Brown said. “Both lactate and oxygen are critical biomarkers for advancing wound-healing,” he added.

The hope to use this skin-inspired sensor design to incorporate more biomarkers and create even more multifunctional sensors to help with wound healing. They hope to see these sensors incorporated into internal organs to gain a better understanding of the diseases affecting these organs and the human body.