Chronic non-healing wounds continue to pose great challenges to clinicians. It is estimated that there are 1.1-1.8 million new chronic wound patients each year and approximately 8 million Americans suffering from chronic wounds. To make the situation worse, chronic wounds often predispose the patients to infection. The problem is compounded by the lack of effective methods to monitor the wound healing status and for the early diagnosis of wound infection. Taking advantage of the recent developments in optical imaging technology, the overall goal of this project is to develop a multifunctional imaging probe for assessing wound healing and infection in humans. Specifically, many recent studies have shown that an alkaline (pH >7.4) wound environment is an indicator of a chronic wound. It has also been shown that bacterial colonization is preferable in a chronic wound and alkaline environment. In addition, infection may delay wound healing and lead to an inability to heal. Hence, we believe that the development of imaging probes to detect the wound pH changes and bacterial colonization, would serve as powerful tools for early detection of non-healing wounds and wound infection. To achieve the goal, this proposed work is aimed at creating a series of near infrared bacteria/pH multifunctional probes which can measure pH changes and bacteria presence in the wound. The successful completion of this proposed work will aid in the development of a new platform of wound care technology. This technology can be easily implemented for monitoring the extent of wound healing and the potential for infection in chronic wound patients.
A novel multifunction optical imaging probe for detecting pH changes and bacteria presence will be fabricated to assess wound healing status and detect bacterial colonization in the skin wound. Based on the knowledge attained from this work, a new technology will be developed for providing crucial and real time information about the status of wound healing in humans with chronic wounds.
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