Background. Existing wound care practices use visual cues that are largely superficial in nature. The visual nature of the exams makes them very subjective and there is extensive inhomogeneity in wound evaluations between different healthcare professionals. Imaging is an indispensable tool to see what the eye cannot. Current techniques are limited to image a few millimeters deep into wounded tissue, thus visual examination is limited to the skin surface whereas wounds can exacerbate from deep within soft tissues.
Researchers from UC San Diego have developed a device that solves all these major limitations. It is a quick, inexpensive, non-radiative, non-invasive, point-of-care imaging modality. The inventors created a fast, point-of-care imaging technique that can image deep within soft tissues. This technique can be used to monitor. wound health over long periods of time. This ultrasound imaging technology is poised to become a medical imaging tool to measure, and visualize wound size, progression, tunneling, and skin graft integration or rejection.
Conventional wound care practices use visual cues to assess and monitor wound health.
Ultrasound imaging is a valuable tool to study skin graft integration used for chronic wound treatment. ultrasound imaging is a remarkable tool to monitor wound size, skin graft integration, soft tissue loss, and regeneration both before and after skin grafting.
Photoacoustic imaging is similar to ultrasound but uses light as an excitation source to produce pressure waves. It has already shown promise in visualizing ulcers and neovascularization in mice, which is key for wound healing and skin graft integration. Our future work will look to incorporate photoacoustic imaging to monitor neovascularization in human subjects.
UC San Diego is looking for companies interested in commercializing this technology.