A 'smart' suture that doubles as a heater and a thermometer could promote wound healing.
John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his colleagues have developed a prototype silicon-based suture (pictured) that is long, thin and flexible enough to be sewn into a wound. The suture contains circuit elements that can both heat tissue and sense its temperature. This enables the device to keep the wound at an ideal temperature for healing and to detect temperature increases associated with infection.
The researchers hope to develop sutures with other functions, such as programmable drug release.
Small http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.201200933 (2012)