3D Printing of pH Indicator Auxetic Hydrogel Skin Wound Dressing

Filmon Tsegay, Muhammed Hisham, Mohamed Elsherif, Andreas Schiffer, Haider Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The benefits of enclosing pH sensors into wound dressings include treatment monitoring of wounded skin and early detection of developing chronic conditions, especially for diabetic patients. A 3D printed re-entrant auxetic hydrogel wound dressing, doped with pH indicator phenol red dye, was developed and characterized. The re-entrant auxetic design allows wound dressing adhesion to complex body parts, such as joints on arms and legs. Tensile tests revealed a yield strength of 140 kPa and Young’s modulus of 78 MPa. In addition, the 3D-printed hydrogel has a swelling capacity of up to 14%, limited weight loss to 3% in six days, and porosity of near 1.2%. A reasonable pH response resembling human skin pH (4–10) was obtained and characterized. The integration of color-changing pH indicators allows patients to monitor the wound’s healing process using a smartphone. In addition to the above, the mechanical properties and their dependence on post-processing were studied. The results show that the resin composition and the use of post-treatments significantly affect the quality and durability of the wound dressings. Finally, a poly (acrylic acid) (PAA) and water-based adhesive was developed and used to demonstrate the performance of the auxetic wound dressing when attached to moving body joints.

Original languageBritish English
Article number1339
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • 3D printing
  • auxetic structures
  • hydrogel wound dressings
  • PAA adhesion
  • pH sensor


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