A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) have unveiled an inventive solution for monitoring wound healing. The newly developed PETAL (Paper-like Battery-free In situ AI-enabled Multiplexed) sensor patch combines flexible electronics, artificial intelligence (AI), and nanosensor capabilities to provide a simple, convenient, and effective method of assessing wound recovery. This breakthrough technology has the potential to significantly improve wound care and management by enabling timely clinical intervention.
Traditionally, wound healing has relied on visual examination by clinicians, which can be subjective and time-consuming. The PETAL sensor patch revolutionizes this process by incorporating five colorimetric sensors that measure a combination of biomarkers, including temperature, pH, trimethylamine, uric acid, and moisture. By analyzing these biomarkers, the sensor patch can determine a patient’s wound healing status within just 15 minutes. This innovative approach allows for the prompt detection of wound inflammation, infection, and overall wound condition.
Dr. Su Xiaodi, Principal Scientist at A*STAR’s IMRE, explained that the paper-like PETAL sensor patch is designed to be thin, flexible, and biocompatible, making it easy to integrate with wound dressings. The patch operates without an energy source, with sensor images captured by a mobile phone and analyzed by AI algorithms to provide accurate classification of the healing status. This non-invasive and continuous monitoring approach ensures minimal disruption to the wound healing process, enabling doctors and patients to monitor wounds regularly and intervene promptly when necessary.
The PETAL sensor patch has demonstrated high accuracy in differentiating between healing and non-healing chronic and burn wounds, achieving a remarkable 97% accuracy rate in lab experiments. Its versatility allows for customization to monitor other wound types by incorporating different colorimetric sensors, such as glucose or lactate, to cater to diabetic ulcers or other specific wound conditions. The patch’s design, fabrication, and impressive performance have been reported in the scientific journal Science Advances.
The next phase of development for the PETAL sensor patch involves human clinical trials, and an international patent for this groundbreaking invention has already been filed. The collaborative effort between NUS, IMRE, Nanyang Technological University, and the Skin Research Institute Singapore underscores the significance of this innovation in advancing wound care. With its potential to accurately monitor wound healing and facilitate timely medical intervention, the PETAL sensor patch could transform the management of wounds, reducing complications and improving patient outcomes.
As the research team progresses towards clinical trials, the PETAL sensor patch holds great promise for revolutionizing wound care practices, benefiting patients, healthcare professionals, and healthcare systems worldwide.