Changing bandage colors coming soon?

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A bandage that changes colors to reveal wound healing is being created by an Australian researcher. Once brought to market, the invention could help treat chronic wounds and lower caregiving costs, advocates claim.

Louise van der Werff presented her research at the Fresh Science meeting in Australia.

“What I've developed is something that changes color in response to changes in temperature,” said van der Werff, who is conducting the investigation while earning her  Ph.D. at Monash University in Melbourne. The research is also supported by a bandage manufacturer.

She said infections and inflammation can cause delayed healing, especially when a patient's immune system is compromised.

Van der Werff's invention is designed to ensure faster diagnosis of wound problems and result in appropriate treatment to speed up healing.

Her “smart bandage” uses a commercial derivative of cholesterol that changes from red, through green, to blue as it heats up.

“If you have an infection or inflammation you're likely to get an increase in temperature from a normal state,” van der Werff said.