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Spatial frequency domain imaging: a quantitative, noninvasive tool for in vivo monitoring of burn wound and skin graft healing.


There is a need for noninvasive, quantitative methods to characterize wound healing in the context of longitudinal investigations related to regenerative medicine. Such tools have the potential to inform the assessment of wound status and healing progression and aid the development of new treatments. We employed spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI) to characterize the changes in optical properties of tissue during wound healing progression in a porcine model of split-thickness skin grafts and also in a model of burn wound healing with no graft intervention. Changes in the reduced scattering coefficient measured using SFDI correlated with structural changes reported by histology of biopsies taken concurrently. SFDI was able to measure spatial inhomogeneity in the wounds and predicted heterogeneous healing. In addition, we were able to visualize differences in healing rate, depending on whether a wound was debrided and grafted, versus not debrided and left to heal without intervention apart from topical burn wound care. Changes in the concentration of oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin were also quantified, giving insight into hemodynamic changes during healing.

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