Bioengineers have developed a new device which they claim could transform the way in which wounds are treated.
And the tiny sensor, which monitors how well wounds are healing, could save the NHS thousands of pounds by removing the need for unnecessary dressings.
The system, which has been developed at the Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices, allows doctors and nurses to check the conditions under a dressing without having to remove it.
The sensor, which is about half the size of a postage stamp, is attached to the dressing itself, meaning that patients are not exposed to any unnecessary pain.
It is then connected to wires which can be plugged in to a monitor to allow medical staff to take a reading to see how the healing process is progressing.
The system is currently under clinical trial on patients with chronic leg ulcers with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
If successful, the monitor could be ready for use in hospitals as soon as next year.
Professor Patricia Connolly, director of the Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices, said: "The system is designed to take the guess work out of wound care.
"Currently, if a doctor or nurse wants to check the progress of a wound, they have to remove the dressing - a process which can disturb the wound and be detrimental to the healing process.
"The monitor means dressings aren't changed unless they need to be, allowing wounds to heal as quickly as possible and enabling the patient to get on with life."
Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices
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