A new kind of printed circuit board will make it possible to keep track of the skin healing process and assess whether medications should be prescribed, as well as their effects. The device is transparent and flexible, thereby facilitating its application onto a wound or sore. Its main application will be in the care of patients who have developed pressure sores (bedsores) as a result of being bedridden for an extended period. “The device makes it possible to detect sores even before they become visible on the skin,” says Felippe Pavinatto from the São Carlos Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo (USP), who participated in the project developed at the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco campuses during his post-doctoral studies funded by a grant from FAPESP. The equipment is able to measure changes in the electrical profile of degraded skin (based on a physical property called impedance) and map out its state of health. The initial goal of the research was to develop a sensor to monitor the healing of chronic sores and the effect of medication use. “Over the course of the work, we found another use for the sensor,” says Pavinatto, one of the authors of the scientific paper that describes the device, published in Nature Communications on March 17, 2015.