Wearable sensors impersonate skin to aid with wound healing

Binghamton University and State University of New York researchers have produced skin-inspired technologies to imitate the skin, paving way for long lasting, high-performing wound care in individuals.

“We eventually hope that these sensors and engineering accomplishments can help advance healthcare applications and provide a better quantitative understanding in disease progression, wound care, general health, fitness monitoring and more,” stated Matthew Brown. He is a Ph.D. student at Binghamton University.

Biosensors are diagnostic devices combining a biological factor with a physiochemical detector to detect and examine a chemical substance and its response in the body. Researchers from the Binghamton University’s Intimately Bio-Integrated Biosensors lab have produced a skin-like electromechanical device that is able to monitor lactate and oxygen on the skin.

“We are focused on developing next-generation platforms that can integrate with biological tissue (e.g. skin, neural and cardiac tissue),” Brown stated. Brown, Youjoong Park, master’s students Brandon Ashely, and undergraduate student Sally Kuan designed an instrument that is designed similarly to the skin’s construction. This wearable sensor is fitted with gold sensory cables which are able to exhibit mechanics which are alike the skin elasticity.

The researchers aim to produce a new type of sensor that will blend flawlessly with the wearer’s body for maximum body analysis.

“This topic was interesting to us because we were very interested in real-time, on-site evaluation of wound healing progress in a near future,” told Brown. “Both lactate and oxygen are critical biomarkers to access wound-healing progression.”

Researchers hope that studies in the future will use this sensor plan to include more biomarkers and produce more multiuse sensors to aid in the healing of wounds.

“The bio-mimicry structured sensor platform allows free mass transfer between biological tissue and bio-interfaced electronics,” stated Koh. “Therefore, this intimately bio-integrated sensing system is capable of determining critical biochemical events while being invisible to the biological system or not evoking an inflammatory response.”