A Color Changing Silk Patch for Visible Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Detection

Technology #11493

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Sudipta Seal, Ph.D.
Sushant Singh, Ph.D.
Kenneth W. Liechty
Carlos Zgheib
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending

Key Points

  • Color-changing patch enables healthcare workers to monitor oxidative stress levels in a wound
  • Shows the real-time status of ROS levels in the wound microenvironment
  • Allows for adaptive, personalized treatment of each wound individually


The University of Central Florida invention describes a method of detecting reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in a wound by engineering a color‐changing patch that could be applied as a quick and visible indicator of oxidative stress. The majority of ROS are released by neutrophils and macrophages during the inflammatory phase of healing to kill foreign pathogens that may have entered the wound. If the inflammatory phase does not resolve in time, and the concentration of ROS exceeds the antioxidant capacity of the cell, the condition called oxidative stress results. Oxidative stress is mediated by radical ROS (superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical) and non-radical ROS (hydrogen peroxide [H2O2], singlet oxygen) and may inhibit cell migration and proliferation and cause tissue damage and perpetuation of inflammation.

While there are methods of measuring ROS levels currently in use, they require expensive equipment and time constraints that do not allow for quick, visual indication of the status of a wound. The patch created by the inventive group has an infusion of a color‐changing reagent in the silk fibers electrospun into a patch, which can then be easily applied to a wound area. Since wound fluid contains micromolar concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (a non‐radical ROS) as a result of oxidative stress, this change in concentration can be monitored by the color change in the patch. Experimental results show a color change based on the production of hydrogen peroxide, and in vivo studies showed color change within 24 hours due to wound oxidative stress.