Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Stitches- Emily Diamond

Have you ever gotten stitches? I have had four, and it was a painful mess. It didn't heal properly and got infected. Because this happens so often, researchers have made “smart” sutures that notify you when a problem occurs. In the future, they plan on making them so that they can administer drugs to help a stitched up wound recover quicker.
Sutures are made for holding large wounds or incisions together so they heal with a smaller scar. These are often made of natural materials like cotton or silk. Sometimes they are made from a type of plastic. They also make special sutures that are made to dissolve in the body over time and are by far the most efficient.
Sometimes the wounds don’t heal properly though. Your tissues can swell and cause the sutures to tighten, and that creates an awful scar. They can also become infected, which causes the tissue to redden and heat up. And I can tell you from experience it hurts a whole  l o t. Sameer Sonkusale and his partner, at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, found out a way to turn these normal sutures into sensors that can report what is happening inside your skin.
Sameer and his partner coated a cotton thread with a conducting material, which could sense the swelling, stretching of tissue, and measure the pH (which can tell if you are developing an infection).
The team made a way to embed the sensors into the patient's skin. These can collect the data more accurately than the wearable devices. These could possibly monitor blood sugar levels in the future for people with diabetes.

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