Flourescent gel identifies bacteria in wounds


Polymers that light up in the presence of bacteria could offer a new way to quickly detect infected wounds.

When contained in a gel and applied to a wound, the infection’s severity can be detected by the level of fluorescence, helping clinicians decide whether or not to use antibiotics, and the most appropriate type of antibiotic treatment to prescribe.

“The polymers incorporate a fluorescent dye and are engineered to recognize and attach to bacteria, collapsing around them as they do so,” says Sheila MacNeil, a professor at the University of Sheffield and an expert in tissue engineering and wound healing.

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