An Advanced Multifunctional Hydrogel-Based Dressing for Wound Monitoring and Drug Delivery

Adv Healthc Mater. 2017 Oct;6(19):10.1002/adhm.201700718. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201700718. Epub 2017 Sep 25.


Wound management is a major global challenge and poses a significant financial burden to the healthcare system due to the rapid growth of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and aging population. The ability to detect pathogenic infections and release drug at the wound site is of the utmost importance to expedient patient care. Herein, this study presents an advanced multifunctional dressing (GelDerm) capable of colorimetric measurement of pH, an indicator of bacterial infection, and release of antibiotic agents at the wound site. This study demonstrates the ability of GelDerm to detect bacterial infections using in vitro and ex vivo tests with accuracies comparable to the commercially available systems. Wireless interfaces to digital image capture hardware such as smartphones serve as a means for quantitation and enable the patient to record the wound condition at home and relay the information to the healthcare personnel for following treatment strategies. Additionally, the dressing is integrated within commercially available patches and can be placed on the wound without chemical or physical irritation. This study demonstrates the ability of GelDerm to eradicate bacteria by the sustained release of antibiotics. The proposed technology holds great promise in managing chronic and acute injuries caused by trauma, surgery, or diabetes.

Keywords: drug-delivery; infections; sensing; wound dressings; wound management.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bacterial Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Bandages*
  • Colorimetry / instrumentation*
  • Colorimetry / methods
  • Delayed-Action Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Delayed-Action Preparations / chemistry
  • Drug Monitoring / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Materials Testing
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Hydrogels