Author: Crane NJ, Elster EA.
Affiliation: Naval Medical Research Center, Department of Regenerative Medicine, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.
Conference/Journal: J Biomed Opt.
Date published: 2012 Jan
Other: Volume ID: 17 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 010902 , Word Count: 194
Wound care and management accounted for over 1.8 million hospital discharges in 2009. The complex nature of wound physiology involves hundreds of overlapping processes that we have only begun to understand over the past three decades. The management of wounds remains a significant challenge for inexperienced clinicians. The ensuing inflammatory response ultimately dictates the pace of wound healing and tissue regeneration. Consequently, the eventual timing of wound closure or definitive coverage is often subjective. Some wounds fail to close, or dehisce, despite the use and application of novel wound-specific treatment modalities. An understanding of the molecular environment of acute and chronic wounds throughout the wound-healing process can provide valuable insight into the mechanisms associated with the patient's outcome. Pathologic alterations of wounds are accompanied by fundamental changes in the molecular environment that can be analyzed by vibrational spectroscopy. Vibrational spectroscopy, specifically Raman and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, offers the capability to accurately detect and identify the various molecules that compose the extracellular matrix during wound healing in their native state. The identified changes might provide the objective markers of wound healing, which can then be integrated with clinical characteristics to guide the management of wounds.