Wound healing involves a complex series of biochemical events and has traditionally been managed with 'low tech' dressings and bandages. The concept that diagnostic and theranostic sensors can complement wound management is rapidly growing in popularity as there is tremendous potential to apply this technology to both acute and chronic wounds. Benefits in sensing the wound environment include reduction of hospitalization time, prevention of amputations and better understanding of the processes which impair healing. This review discusses the state-of-the-art in detection of markers associated with wound healing and infection, utilizing devices imbedded within dressings or as point-of-care techniques to allow for continual or rapid wound assessment and monitoring. Approaches include using biological or chemical sensors of wound exudates and volatiles to directly or indirectly detect bacteria, monitor pH, temperature, oxygen and enzymes. Spectroscopic and imaging techniques are also reviewed as advanced wound monitoring techniques. The review concludes with a discussion of the limitations of and future directions for this field. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.