Scientific Reports (May 2022)

Development of a textile based protein sensor for monitoring the healing progress of a wound

  • Yomna ElSaboni,
  • John A. Hunt,
  • Jessica Stanley,
  • Christine Moffatt,
  • Yang Wei

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 1
pp. 1 – 12


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Abstract This article focuses on the design and fabrication of flexible textile-based protein sensors to be embedded in wound dressings. Chronic wounds require continuous monitoring to prevent further complications and to determine the best course of treatment in the case of infection. As proteins are essential for the progression of wound healing, they can be used as an indicator of wound status. Through measuring protein concentrations, the sensor can assess and monitor the wound condition continuously as a function of time. The protein sensor consists of electrodes that are directly screen printed using both silver and carbon composite inks on polyester nonwoven fabric which was deliberately selected as this is one of the common backing fabric types currently used in wound dressings. These sensors were experimentally evaluated and compared to each other by using albumin protein solution of pH 7. A comprehensive set of cyclic voltammetry measurements was used to determine the optimal sensor design the measurement of protein in solution. As a result, the best sensor design is comprised of silver conductive tracks but a carbon layer as the working and counter electrodes at the interface zone. This design prevents the formation of silver dioxide and protects the sensor from rapid decay, which allows for the recording of consecutive measurements using the same sensor. The chosen printed protein sensor was able to detect bovine serum albumin at concentrations ranging from 30 to 0.3 mg/mL with a sensitivity of $$0.0026 \mu $$ 0.0026 μ A/M. Further testing was performed to assess the sensor’s ability to identify BSA from other interferential substances usually present in wound fluids and the results show that it can be distinguishable.