Acute wounds by traumatic injuries such as traffic accidents and burns account for large casualties and disabilities, posting a large burden of the public healthcare system. Just the Medicare spending on wound care in the US alone totals ~100 billion dollars annually. These injuries are highly patient-specific and usually present complex clinical challenges for treatment, including extensive soft tissue loss, full-thickness burns, hemorrhage, contamination, and tissue hypoxia, making the healing extremely challenging especially for large-area and deep traumas. In particular, with disrupted microcirculation and thus insufficient oxygen supply, wound healing can be severely impaired under hypoxia, and thus prolong or even bias the healing process. Primary operation is the first line of treatment and key determinants of recovery prognosis and survivability. However, current strategies using dry fluffed gauze and crepe bandages for initial and post-operative wound management are non-differential to the patients? specific wound conditions, and are often insufficient to overcome these challenging healing processes. These non- differential approaches also require secondary debridement of the wound, increase the risk of infection, and increase the cost and time required for additional reconstructive surgery and depend on donor tissues. Here, we propose a paradigm-shifting clinical approach that promotes wound closure and recovery by in situ analysis of the wound topographic and oxygenation information, instant data analysis, and subsequent automated application of programmed oxygen-generating biomaterials, which can rapidly fill the defect site in a spatially and temporally controllable manner to heal the wound in a patient-specific manner. To achieve this aim, we will integrate the cutting-edge bioprinting and photoacoustic imaging technologies to develop a handheld bioanalysis-bioprinting hybrid smart applicator. This approach will be of significant clinical benefit in advancing the existing wound dressing technologies to efficiently and effectively treat topical wounds such as burn and blast injuries in situ.
We propose the development of a novel multi-material applicator methodology that promotes wound closure and recovery by in situ analysis of the wound topographic and functional information, instant data analysis, and subsequent automated application of programmed multi-functional biomaterials, which can rapidly fill the defect site in a spatially and temporally controllable manner to heal the wound in a patient- specific manner. We anticipate that successful completion of the project will yield a broadly applicable, minimally invasive clinical technology to treat large-sized and heterogeneous traumatic injuries.