Color-Changing Band-Aids Can Detect Infection, And Yes We Live In The Future Now

As the daughter of two doctors, I know "just enough to make me dangerous" — or at least that's what my mom says when I call her with various self-diagnoses. I'm constantly convinced that every little bug bite is poisoning my blood, and every headache means I have some terrible tumor, but with the recent arrival of color-changing Band-Aids that detect infection, my mind can at least rest a teeny bit easier. Like the absolute smallest amount. But still.

The Band-Aids, which are still in trial testing, were initially created to sense early signs of infection in burn wounds, and the way it works is actually pretty awesome. Each Band-Aid begins with an unobtrusive, polka-dot pattern, except the polka-dots are actually nanocapsules that break open and release dye when toxic bacteria are present. The capsules are "trained" to detect specific strains of bacteria, and to only react to those. Like... do we live in the future, or do we live in the future?

Within four hours of the infection, the color and pattern of the Band-Aid change. By diagnosing infection quickly (currently, it takes about 48 hours to diagnose an infected burn, Medical News Today points out), doctors can help patients avoid extensive scarring, prolonged hospital stays, or even death.

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In other words, polka-dot Band-Aids could save lives. What a world we live in.

Images: Pixabay; Giphy