The SmartWound® RESOLVE Infection Sensor

The Technology – brief overview.

The SPaCE NtP swab sensor kit is a cost effective, fast method of assessing wound health. Wounds are swabbed as part of standard care, the swab placed in our patented vesicle gel, left for 30-60 minutes and colour change observed. Bright green colour means that virulence factors associated with SPaCE pathogens were detected. The sensing concept is the same as that used in the SmartWound dressing.

The SPaCE wound swab sensor responds to the four key microbial pathogens found in infected wounds:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Candida species
  • Enterococcus faecalis

The colour change is easily seen by eye (right): Fluorescent green response = SPaCE pathogen positive; dull orange: SPaCE pathogen negative.

Virulence factor detection

These virulence factors are secreted as the microorganism invades and colonises host tissue at the so-called Critical Colonisation Threshold, CCT [2] . The virulence factors lyse the vesicle releasing fluorescent dye which is easily detectable by eye. The medium-term plan is to integrate these vesicles into a wound dressing to create an in situ detection system for SPaCE pathogens at the CCT. However, this would be a Class IIb medical device, with significant technical and regulatory hurdles prior to initial patient use. Recent studies at Bath have shown that a different approach to CCT detection could be used: The wound can be swabbed, the swab immersed in the vesicle suspension, and the result observed in under 1 hour.


[1] Patent number US9499852 B2 Priority date12/01/12

[2] N.T. Thet, D. R. Alves, J. E. Bean, S. Booth, J. Nzakizwanayo, A.E.R. Young, B. V. Jones, A.T.A. Jenkins, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2016, 8, 14909- 14919

How SmartWound® RESOLVE sensor works