Smart bandage designed by girl, 13, signals when it needs to be changed

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A smart bandage that detects moisture levels and signals when it needs to be changed has helped a seventh grade student impress the judges at the Google Science Fair.

Anushka Naiknaware, 13, is a student at Stoller Middle School in Beaverton, Oregon. Her invention finished in the top eight at the competition, according to the event’s official website.

Naiknaware won a $15,000 scholarship and a free trip to Lego headquarters in Denmark, with a year of entrepreneurship mentoring from a Lego executive.

The bandage uses biopolymer chitosan with carbon nanoparticles to reduce bleeding and measure moisture levels in the wound. A battery and bluetooth chip sit on top of the bandage and are covered by a regular bandage adhesive layer.

When the moisture level is high, the electrons inside the bandage experience less resistance; when the bandage dries up, the electrons detect much higher resistance.

The change in resistance is noted and can be wirelessly transmitted to a mobile device, which then prompts the user to change bandages.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Depiction of wounds heal faster in moist environment
2. Depiction of changing bandages too often and not frequent worsen the wounds
3. The new bandage can reduce bleeding and detect moisture levels
4. Depiction of chitosan in the bandage is used to reduce bleeding
5. Depiction of pattern printed with active charcoal is used to detect moisture levels
6. Battery, bluetooth chip added to the bandage
7. Electrons have less resistance when the moisture level is high; electrons have high resistance when moisture level is low
8. The bandage sends signals to a phone; the man reads the phone and changes his bandage


VOICEOVER (in English):

“Wounds covered by bandages heal faster because the epithelial cells can move in a moist environment, whereas wounds exposed to air dry up and form scabs that slow the healing process.”

“However, changing bandages too often or not frequently enough can lead to infection or slow down the healing process.”

“The bandage uses biopolymer chitosan with carbon nanoparticles to reduce bleeding and measure moisture levels in the wound.”

“Chitosan is extracted from chitin, which is found in crustacean shells. It is widely used in medicine to reduce bleeding and as an antibacterial agent.”

“The moisture sensors in the bandage were created by printing a fractal pattern using ink containing nanoparticle conductive carbon and active charcoal nanoparticles.”

“A battery and bluetooth chip sit on top of the bandage and are covered by a normal bandage adhesive layer.”

“When the moisture level is high, electrons inside the bandage experience less resistance; when the bandage dries up, the electrons detect much higher resistance.”

“The change in resistance is noted and can be wirelessly transmitted to a mobile device, which then prompts the user to change the bandages.”

SOURCES: Google Science Fair, Oregon Live
https://www.googlesciencefair.com/projects/en/2016/562f25503d252660ac0e8309b7711f3fc2ef084c0fa3598a7a7cf9377fc8adaa
http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2016/10/beaverton_girl_makes_bandage_b.html