A project by graduates of the Faculty of Mechatronics at Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) has won the national stage of the James Dyson Award competition. The SmartHEAL smart dressing is designed to help chronic wounds heal.
The authors of the solution are three graduates of the Faculty of Mechatronics at the Warsaw University of Technology: Tomasz Raczyński, Piotr Walter, and Dominik Baraniecki. SmartHEAL is an easy-to-use, non-invasive, and low-cost diagnostic tool for chronic wounds, enabling the immediate detection of pH changes correlated with inflammation and thus selecting the right treatment, without having to remove the dressing.
The pH measurement in SmartHEAL is based on an electrochemical sensor. Wound effusion is delivered to two electrodes. The acidity or alkalinity of the reaction is determined by the potential difference of the electrodes. Then, using an RFID antenna, the result can be read out by the patient or medical staff.
SmartHEAL is an alternative to the traditional method of analysing the wound healing process, which is mainly based on a subjective assessment of the size, colour or smell of the wound.
“During discussions with medics, we realised the scale of the problem. Correct and fast detection of disturbances in the wound healing process and the development of pathogenic microorganisms not only shortens the healing process, but also allows life-threatening infections to be stopped”, emphasises Dominik Baraniecki.
Thanks to winning the national stage of the James Dyson Award competition, the SmartHEAL project will receive financial support of PLN 27 000. The funds raised will facilitate the team’s ongoing operational expenses and the ability to directly purchase research materials, such as specialised bandages and dressings. This will allow innovative technological processes to be adapted to commonly used medical materials.