Wearable Biosensors Help Wound Healing Process by Mimicking Skin

Wearable biosensor for healing
Image credit: KOH Laboratory, Binghamton University

Biosensors are devices that combine a biological component with a physiochemical detector to observe and analyze how a chemical substance reacts to the body. Despite great advancements, traditional biosensor still has limitations. Researchers at Binghamton University have now developed a skin-inspired, open-mesh electromechanical sensor that is capable of monitoring lactate and oxygen on the skin, allowing for long-term, high-performance, real-time wound monitoring in users.

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“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,” says Matthew Brown, a Ph.D. student at Binghamton University, State University of New York. 

The researchers hope to create a new mode of sensor that will merge seamlessly with the wearer’s body to maximize body analysis to help understand chemical and physiological information, reports CACM.

“We are focused on developing next-generation platforms that can integrate with biological tissue (e.g. skin, neural, and cardiac tissue),” says Brown.

Prof. Koh
Assistant professor Ahyeon Koh of the Biomedical Engineering Department (Image credit: Binghamton University)

Master’s students Brandon Ashley and Youjoong Park, and undergraduate student Sally Kuan, under the guidance of Brown and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Ahyeon Koh, designed a sensor that is structured similarly to that of the skin’s micro architecture. This wearable sensor is equipped with gold sensor cables capable of exhibiting similar mechanics to that of skin elasticity.

The researchers hope that in the future research can be conducted to utilize their 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 being developed incorporated into internal organs to gain an increased understanding about the diseases that affect these organs and the human body.

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“The bio-mimicry structured sensor platform allows free mass transfer between biological tissue and bio-interfaced electronics,” says 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.”