Smart Stitches Could Help Treat Wounds in People with Type 2 Diabetes

Tufts University researchers say the thread can check for infection and alert doctors.



A new surgical thread created by a team at Tufts University could offer a better way to treat wounds in people with diabetes. The experimental threads, dubbed “smart stitches”, would monitor wounds for infection and alert doctors if problems arise.

According to a report in The Telegraph UK, the stitches have nanosensors dipped in chemical-sensing compounds. Once on the body, the threads can then analyze tissue strength, toxicity levels, and glucose levels. The data the thread collects is sent to doctors via mobile phone.


High blood sugar levels and poor circulation can slow down the wound-healing process for people with diabetes. Also, neuropathy caused by high blood sugar levels may dull nerve pain, making a person with diabetes unaware a wound has become infected. Because of this, it’s recommended that people with diabetes stay vigilant to identify or monitor wounds, keep wounds clean, and report potential infections as soon as possible.

So far, the stitches have only been tested on rats, but researchers are now beginning human trials. We will share trial results as we hear of them.

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Ashley Lambert is a recent Suffolk University graduate. While at Suffolk she studied communication and media studies.