If you have ever had surgery, then you will immediately understand the importance of keeping the wound from infection. There are special conductive sutures that can sense changes in wound status through electrical signals and relay the information to a computer or smart phone. Sounds great, but they are first-world solutions, and they are too expensive for the places where they are most needed (developing countries). Surgical wounds in developing countries are four times more likely to be infected than in the United States.
Iowa high school student [Dasia Taylor] Found a simpler solution that can reduce the infection rate. She uses sugar beets to develop color-changing sutures that will change from bright red to purple in five minutes if there is an infection.
Beet and other fruits and vegetables (such as blackberries, plums and blueberries) are natural indicators of pH. They have a compound called anthocyanin, which can give them pigment and this cooling property. Beets are perfect because they change color at a pH of 9-the same as the infected pH of human skin, usually around 5.[Dasia] Several types of sutures were tested to first understand which ones absorb beet juice. She settled down on woven cotton-polyester blends. Although it may help absorb beet juice, it can also hide bacteria. Another problem is that many surgeries also involve cutting muscles, and when the sutures have a deeper infection, it will be very late. However, if these color-changing sutures can be made in a cost-effective, skin-safe way, and of course the wound can be kept together, then this solution is better than no solution and is definitely worth producing.you can see [Dasia] Talk about her project in the video below.
Want to learn more about natural pH indicators? of course can.