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Diamond-studded silk wound dressing detects infection and improves healing

Diamond-studded silk wound dressing detects infection and improves healing

diamond silk fibres

Full article issued by RMIT University.

ARC-supported scientists have developed a next generation wound dressing that can detect infection and improve healing in burns, skin grafts and chronic wounds.

In research led by RMIT University’s Dr Asma Khalid, smart wound dressings made of silk and nanodiamonds effectively sensed wound temperature, an early sign of infection, promoted healing and reduced infection from certain bacteria.

Senior researcher and former ARC Future Fellow, Professor Brant Gibson, said it offered a solution to the global challenge of wound care and healing. 

“Traditional wound management presents a significant challenge for clinicians, who have to regularly check for infection by looking for signs of redness, heat and swelling,” he said.

“However, once these visual signs appear, inflammation and infection are far advanced, making therapies or interventions substantially more challenging.

“This new technology would aid clinicians to detect infections earlier and non-invasively without the painful procedure of dressing removal.”

The research consortium included scientists from RMIT University, the Universities of Adelaide and Melbourne, Flinders University, SAHMRI and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP).

The work was supported by RMIT University’s Vice Chancellor Fellowship and the ARC through the CNPB and a Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant.


Diamond silk fibres are electrospun to form porous membranes, shown in bluish green colour, with the golden-brown colour representing the skin cell growth on the membrane. Image Credit: colour enhanced image treatment by Daniel Oldfield.

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