smart stitchesIf you’ve ever gotten a stitch, you know that usually doctors ask you to check back with them a few days or a week later just to see the progress of the healing, and whether or not the wound is healing nicely, or whether it could be infected and might need some cleaning up. However in the future this might no longer be necessary.

Engineers from Tufts University have created what they are calling “smart sutures”, which are basically threads that the engineers have embedded with all kinds of sensors, microfluidics, and electronics. The idea is that these sutures will be able to collect diagnostic information like tissue temperature, pH and glucose levels, stress, strain on the wound, and whether or not an infection is coming.

From there, the information can be beamed wirelessly to a smartphone or computer of your doctor/health professional, who can then monitor your healing progress remotely. This means that only when it is time for the stitches to be removed that you will need to visit your doctor, or your doctor could alert you if they think that the wound isn’t healing properly.

Not just designed for sutures, the researchers believe that the technology can also be embedded in organs, orthopedic implants, or knitted into clothes/fabric. So far the researchers have tested out the technology on rats, meaning that we’re still pretty far away from this being a reality for humans.

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