Bandages glow to warn of infection

Sept. 16, 2011 at 7:35 PM

SHEFFIELD, England, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Medical researchers at a British university say they've created a dressing that glows under ultraviolet light if a wound or injury gets infected.

Scientists at Sheffield University say the dressings contain a gel with molecules that bind to infectious bacteria and activate a fluorescent dye that glows pink under ultraviolet light to reveal the presence of dangerous levels of infection, the BBC reported Friday.

Army medics could use it to identify soldiers with infected battlefield injuries, scientists said, and the Ministry of Defense is partly funding the research.

"If you know you've got infection it's going to change how you treat your soldiers, it's going to change how you're going to treat those patients in the home," Sheffield researcher Sheila McNeil said.

The dressing can signal the presence of bacteria that legionella, salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, C. difficile, meningitis and peritonitis.

It now takes several days of growing swab samples in the laboratory to confirm the presence of significant levels of bacterial infection, the researchers said.

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