Wound Diagnostics and Diagnostic Dressings
Published on Jan 1, 2016
· DOI :10.1016/B978-0-12-803762-1.00005-9
Diagnostics play an increasingly important role in the wound management plan for chronic wounds as they can provide valuable insights into why a wound is failing to progress. Active interventions to encourage healing will often require several different approaches and there is little doubt that the provision of detailed information on the chemical dynamics at play within the wound environment would be of tremendous benefit in facilitating more informed treatment decisions and dressing selection. The latter can be pivotal in encouraging the wound to move between different stages in healing. While there have been substantial developments in diagnostic technologies, it is only recently that their application within a wound-healing context has come to the fore. The realization of smart systems that could be used to promote healing but, which could also provide feedback or telemetry on the healing dynamics, is however now beginning to appear with increasing regularity within the research literature. This chapter provides an overview of the challenges involved in the development of such systems from simple dipstick tests through to the devices intended to be worn by the patient. Questions over sampling, selecting appropriate target biomarkers, and adapting analytical methodologies from laboratory-based detection to a system that can be applied directly within the clinic, the home or integrated within a conventional wound dressing, are discussed in depth. The foundations of the proposed methodologies are explored and the practicalities of their implementation within a wound context are critically assessed.