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Smart Bandage - A Hydrogel Supported Optical Microcavity Sensor

L.A. DeLouise
University of Rochester, US

biosensor, hydrogel, drug delivery, porous silicon, optical microcavity

Developing new medical diagnostic technologies that can be used in the home for early detection and disease prevention is a central focus at the University of Rochester Center for Future Health. This paper is concerned with developing a Smart Bandage concept envisioned as a therapeutic sheet containing an optical sensor designed to change color signaling an event that requires intervention such as the onset of infection or the detection of a pathogenic organism in a wound. Alternatively, the sensor can be designed to monitor the time released delivery of substances to promote wound healing. A device architecture representing a significant advance toward achieving these goals is presented. The Bandage is comprised of a porous silicon optical microcavity membrane sensor (5-7 ƒ_m thick) supported in a flexible hydrogel matrix. Key challenges in developing this technology are 1) maintaining an adequate sensitivity response and 2) developing methods to functionalize the sensor. Results are presented quantifying the magnitude of the bulk refractive index unit (RIU) sensitivity response demonstrating that the gel-supported microcavity device remains sufficiently sensitive to detect small changes in refractive index. The long-term stability of the sensor is also demonstrated.

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