We propose to develop a photonic-based sensing layer for the spatial and temporal determination of proteins within the microenvironment of a wound. This program will combine Protein Imprinted Xerogels with Integrated Emission Sites (PIXIES) with photonic bandgap structures to provide a flexible protein sensing film that can be directly integrated into a point-of-care solid state system for wound status determination. These protein sensing films can be directly integrated with Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technologies to provide low-power, portable, hand held systems for clinical applications. The composite sensing films will be fabricated using optical interference lithography combined with pin-printing. The resulting new class of organic PBG-based sensors integrated with our PIXIES technology that will enable real time assessment of biomarkers that are significant in the care of patients with acute and chronic wounds. The first six months of the project will focus on the demonstration of selectivity and sensitivity of a PIXIES array to multiple proteins printed on a flexible polymer substrate, and imaged using a CCD camera, for in-vitro wound assessment. This will be followed by the development of a porous photonic bandgap (PBG) architectures that can be directly integrated with the PIXIES to efficiently collect the protein-concentration-dependent fluorescence emission from the PIXIES elements. These hybrid PIXIES/PBG structures will be validated using in-vitro wound assessment. The enhanced emission collection efficiency of the PIXIES/PBG structures will enable the use of low cost, low gain, CMOS technologies that can enable rapid dissemination of the developed instruments as portable test equipment. Finally, once there is sufficiently enhanced sensitivity to signal changes, i.e., better resolution of analyte concentration for real time wound assessment will be demonstrated. We intend to use the results from this R-21 as the starting point for the development of a handheld point of care device using a CMOS based low power, hand-held analysis system for in-vivo wound analysis through RO-1 sponsored funding.
Real-time wound analysis has the potential to translate to decreased patient morbidity and health care cost in clinical applications. It is estimated that on any given day 60 million people worldwide are being treated for chronic, non-healing wounds and the ability to tailor patient treatment to obtain improved outcomes has been difficult. The ability to analyze the microenvironment of a wound will result in personalized health care for individual patients that should result in significantly improved healing outcomes.
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