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Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1365;

The Development of Indicator Cotton Swabs for the Detection of pH in Wounds

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH-Materials, Franz-Pichler-Straße 30, A-8160 Weiz, Austria
Medical University of Graz, Center for Medical Research, Stiftingtalstraße 24, A-8010 Graz, Austria
Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 8, A-8036 Graz, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Rudolf Seitz
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2534 KB, uploaded 13 June 2017]   |  


Indicator cotton swabs have been developed in order to enable faster, less expensive, and simpler information gathering of a wound status. Swabs are normally used for cleaning the wound, but here, they were covalently functionalized with indicator chemistry. Thus, they in principle enable simultaneous wound cleaning and wound pH detection. Using an indicator dye with a color change from yellow to red, combined with an inert dye of blue color, a traffic light color change from green to red is induced when pH increases. The indicator cotton swabs (ICSs) show a color change from green (appropriate wound pH) to red (elevated wound pH). This color change can be interpreted by the naked eye as well as by an optical color measurement device in order to obtain quantitative data based on the CIE L*a*b* color space. Two types of swabs have been developed—indicator cotton swabs ICS1 with a sensitive range from pH 5 to 7 and swabs ICS2 with a sensitive range from 6.5 to 8.5. The swabs are gamma-sterilized and the effect of sterilization on performance was found to be negligible. Furthermore, cytotoxicity testing shows cell viability and endotoxin levels to be within the allowable range. View Full-Text
Keywords: visual indicator; wound pH; pH indicator; sensor swabs; cotton swabs; traffic-light response visual indicator; wound pH; pH indicator; sensor swabs; cotton swabs; traffic-light response

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Schaude, C.; Fröhlich, E.; Meindl, C.; Attard, J.; Binder, B.; Mohr, G.J. The Development of Indicator Cotton Swabs for the Detection of pH in Wounds. Sensors 2017, 17, 1365.

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