- Assessing a burn wound to know the status of healing is currently an invasive process such as biopsy, which is both painful and scarring. Now scientists have developed a non-invasive technique that involves mere flash of a laser light to assess healing.
- The method exploits a particular property of some tissue proteins—ability to re-emit light upon absorption. Such proteins, known as tissue fluorophores, have chemical compounds that can re-emit light.
- Collagen is one such protein that is vital in wound healing. So when a laser light is flashed on tissues under examination, the amount of re-emitted light from the healing tissue directly corresponds to collagen concentration, which in turn, indicatesthe status of recovery process.
- The collagen levels measured by this technique, known as auto fluorescence, were validated by biochemical tests of patient tissues. The comparison showed that auto fluorescence was consistent and suitable for assessment of burn wound healing. This study also shown tissue collagen can be used as an optical biomarker for assessing burn wound healing, researchers explained.
- For clinical management of wounds, periodic evaluation of injured tissue is necessary to know progress of healing. Sometimes wound assessment is done by trained clinicians but it is a subjective method.
- The other method is to conduct histopathology and biochemicalanalysis to measure amount of collagen deposited. Repetitive invasive tests can result in fresh wounds and possibility of infection and scarring.
- Through auto fluorescence technique, collagen information of the tissue can be gathered just 10 to 15 seconds. “It can provide complementary data conducive to making clinical decisions. After successful testing on clinical samples, we are ready for mass testing on burn wound patients. This system can also be utilized to test collagen disorders in patients.