These clever science fiction threads are used to monitor deep surgical wounds


To detect wound complications as soon as they occur, a team of researchers led by John Ho of NUS Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as the NUS Institute for Health Innovation and Technology, invented Smart sewing that does not need a battery and detects It transmits information wirelessly from deep surgical sites.

Tracking surgical wounds after an operation is an important step in preventing infection, wound separation, and other complications.

smart stitches

This smart suture includes a small electronic sensor that can monitor wound integrity, gastric leakage, precise tissue movement, Providing treatment results equivalent to medical grade threads.

The NUS team’s invention consists of three main components: medical-grade silk threads coated with a conductive polymer that allows them to respond to radio signals; electronic sensor without battery; A wireless reader used to operate the thread from outside the body.

The advantage of these smart sutures is that their use involves a simple modification of the standard surgical procedure. During the suturing of the wound, the suture insulator is passed through the electronic unit and fixed by applying medical silicone to the electrical contacts.

Complete sutures later serve as radio frequency identification tag (RFID) and can be read by an external reader, which sends a signal to the smart thread and detects the reflected signal. A change in the frequency of the reflected signal indicates a possible surgical complication at the wound site.

Smart sutures can be read up to 50mm deepDepending on the length of the stitches involved, the depth can be increased by increasing the thread conductivity or the sensitivity of the wireless reader.

Going forward, the team is looking to develop a portable wireless reader to replace the setup currently used to wirelessly read smart threads, allowing complications to be monitored even outside of clinical settings. This may allow patients to be discharged earlier from the hospital after surgery..

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