Pressure ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers are a pervasive and expensive health care challenge. They are debilitating and can significantly impair quality of life, as they are associated with loss of pain sensation and disordered circulation. The gold standard to preventing pressure ulcers include regular patient turning/repositioning. However, there are relatively few tools for molecular-level insight into when to reposition and who to reposition.
Researchers from UC San Diego developed a non-invasive, high resolution imaging technique that utilizes photoacoustic signal to detect pressure-induced tissue damage. This has utility for predicting the timing of patient repositioning.
The inventors have demonstrated, for the first time, the use of photoacoustic imaging to detect early-stage pressure ulcers and monitor their development across different stages using an established murine model.
Confirmed with histology, the technology is also able to detect significant changes in photoacoustic intensity during healing suggesting that this technology can monitor therapy. This photoacoustic-based approach is poised to have clinical value for monitoring skin diseases including pressure ulcers.
The invention leverages photoacoustic imaging to detect early-stage pressure ulcers and monitor their development across different stages using an established murine model. The inventors utilize both the intensity of photoacoustic signal as well as the depth of the photoacoustic signal to characterize ulceration. The photoacoustic signal changes report on the presence of inflammation and erythema. The photoacoustic depth penetration can distinguish the degree of injury analogous to conventional staging of pressure ulcers.
UC San Diego seeks commercial partners to help develop applications in the clinic.
photoacoustic imaging, pressure ulcer, bed sores, early detection, decubitus ulcers, diabetic ulcers, imaging, wearable