Chronic cutaneous wounds affect millions of people each year and take billions of dollars to treat. Formation of pressure ulcers is considered a "never event" - an inexcusable, adverse event that occurs in a healthcare setting. Current monitoring solutions (pressure-distributing beds, repositioning patients every few hours, etc) are very expensive and labor intensive. In response to this challenge, we are developing a novel, flexible monitoring device that utilizes impedance spectroscopy to measure and characterize tissue health, thus allowing physicians to objectively monitor progression of wound healing as well as to identify high-risk areas of skin to prevent formation of pressure ulcers. Previous studies that examined the dielectric response of cell suspensions and tissues have identified several distinct dispersions associated with particular molecular-level processes that can be used to distinguish between tissue types. We are utilizing impedance spectroscopy to detect subtle changes in tissue, enabling objective assessment and providing a unique insight into the condition of a wound. Wireless capability can be implemented to allow for continuous, remote monitoring.
Project end date: 01/18/18