Yeah, they are awesome. It is a new type of “smart bandage”. It’s cool because it not only identifies the infection but also the bacteria involved. It’s actually being developed at the University of Rochester (N.Y.). It actually changes color in relation to what type of infection is in the wound; for example, red for E. coli and yellow for Streptococcus.
The smart bandage is made of silicon layers treated with probe molecules engineered to bind to the surface of certain bacteria. When the bandage comes in contact with an infected wound, bacteria migrate from the wound into the silicon and bind with the probe molecules, altering the way silicon interacts with laser light. A health care provider uses a handheld laser device to detect the color change.
Smart bandages offer a faster and less invasive means of detecting infection than taking wound swabs for Gram stain. Still in development, they may arrive in hospitals in a year or two.
The same technology may eventually be applied to detect bacteria on food packaging and test the safety of drinking water. You can go to http://www.rochester.edu and keyword search “smart bandages” for more information on its development