Significance: Chronic wounds affect millions of patients worldwide, placing a huge burden on health care resources. Although significant progress has been made in the development of wound treatments, very few advances have been made in wound diagnosis.
Recent Advances: Standard imaging methods like computed tomography, single-photon emission computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, terahertz imaging, and ultrasound imaging have been widely employed in wound diagnostics. A number of noninvasive optical imaging modalities like optical coherence tomography, near-infrared spectroscopy, laser Doppler imaging, spatial frequency domain imaging, digital camera imaging, and thermal and fluorescence imaging have emerged over the years.
Critical Issues: While standard diagnostic wound imaging modalities provide valuable information, they cannot account for dynamic changes in the wound environment. In addition, they lack the capability to predict the healing outcome. Thus, there remains a pressing need for more efficient methods that can not only indicate the current state of the wound but also help determine whether the wound is on track to heal normally.
Future Directions: Many imaging probes have been fabricated and shown to provide real-time assessment of tissue microenvironment and inflammatory responses in vivo. These probes have been demonstrated to noninvasively detect various changes in the wound environment, which include tissue pH, reactive oxygen species, fibrin deposition, matrix metalloproteinase production, and macrophage accumulation. This review summarizes the creation of these probes and their potential implications in wound monitoring.

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Acknowledgment and Funding Sources

This work was supported by a grant from National Institute of Health (AR064650).

About the Authors

Shuxin Li, BS, is a bioengineering doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington. His research focuses on fabricating probes and probe-loaded gauze for wound monitoring and healing. Ali H. Mohamedi is a bioengineering undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington. Jon Senkowsky, MD, is a vascular surgeon with over 30 years of clinical experience in wound management. He provides care for patients with chronic wounds on a daily basis using many techniques and products for the treatment of chronic, nonhealing wounds in patients with vascular disease, venous stasis, and diabetes. Ashwin Nair, PhD, is a scientist and project leader at Progenitec, Inc., with expertise in foreign body reactions to materials and tissue regeneration techniques. Liping Tang, PhD, is a bioengineering professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. His expertise covers a broad area of biocompatibility, biomaterials, tissue engineering, inflammation imaging, infection, and stem cell therapies.


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Published In

cover image Advances in Wound Care
Advances in Wound Care
Volume 9Issue Number 5May 2020
Pages: 245 - 263


Published in print: May 2020
Published online: 19 March 2020
Published ahead of print: 24 June 2019
Accepted: 14 May 2019
Received: 14 March 2019


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Shuxin Li
Department of Bioengineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas.
Ali H. Mohamedi
Department of Bioengineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas.
Jon Senkowsky
Texas Health Physician's Group, Arlington, Texas.
Progenitec, Inc., Arlington, Texas.
Department of Bioengineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas.


Correspondence: Ashwin Nair, Progenitec, Inc., 7301 W Pioneer Parkway, Suite B, Arlington, TX 76013 [email protected]
Correspondence: Liping Tang, Department of Bioengineering, University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19138, Arlington, TX 76019-0138 [email protected]

Author Disclosure and Ghostwriting

Tang has a potential research conflict of interests due to a financial interest with Progenitec, Inc. A management plan has been created to preserve objectivity in research, in accordance with UTA policy. No competing financial interests exist for the other authors. The content of this article was expressly written by the author(s) listed. No ghostwriters were used to write this article.

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