A wireless and battery-free wound infection sensor based on DNA hydrogel
- November 19, 2021
Ze Xiong, Sippanat Achavananthadith, John S. Ho, et al.
The confluence of wireless technology and biosensors offers the possibility to detect and manage medical conditions outside of clinical settings. Wound infections represent a major clinical challenge in which timely detection is critical for effective interventions, but this is currently hindered by the lack of a monitoring technology that can interface with wounds, detect pathogenic bacteria, and wirelessly transmit data. Here, we report a flexible, wireless, and battery-free sensor that provides smartphone-based detection of wound infection using a bacteria-responsive DNA hydrogel. The engineered DNA hydrogels respond selectively to deoxyribonucleases associated with pathogenic bacteria through tunable dielectric changes, which can be wirelessly detected using near-field communication. In a mouse acute wound model, we demonstrate that the wireless sensor can detect physiologically relevant amounts of Staphylococcus aureus even before visible manifestation of infection. These results demonstrate strategies for continuous infection monitoring, which may facilitate improved management of surgical or chronic wounds.