They send stats like temperature, PH and glucose levels straight to a computer.
The next time you get stitched up in A&E, your wound could send vital stats about its healing process to your doctor.
A team of engineers at Tufts University have created smart sutures – or stitches – that can sense variables like pressure, stress, strain, body temperature, PH and glucose levels, and fire the information to a phone or computer for your doctor to track.
This kind of detailed monitoring could enable your doctor to check your stitches aren’t being over-stretched, or that an infection isn’t round the corner.
It’s not just stitching up skin that these smart threads are handy for, though. They’re versatile enough to be be woven into bandages and fabrics to discreetly monitor health variables while you’re recovering,
The team made the threads out of various cotton and synthetic materials, and then dipped them into physical and chemical sensing compounds.
They need to carry out more tests before the smart stitches can be rolled out for use in real hospitals, but it’s an exciting glimpse into how smart tech could filter into healthcare of the future.
You can read about all the nitty gritty science behind the smart stitches on Microsystems and Nanoengineering.