Chronic skin wounds affect more than 100 million people worldwide and cause almost 25 billion dollars annually in healthcare alone in the United States. These wounds are non-healing and are characterized by poor blood circulation, inflamed tissues, and infections. Clinical approaches up till now are not able to find appropriate diagnostics approach to find the exact cause of this disease and the monitoring system have also not been able to find an appropriate approach to heal the disease.
In a recent research at the University of Arkansas, the researchers have devised a new method to diagnose and monitor the chronic diseases with precision. The method which is called multiphoton microscopy uses a powerful imaging system which is capable of measuring changes at the cellular level. The multiphoton microscopy helps to view the tissue in three dimensions at the cellular level. It also helps to generate a three-dimensional map of the wound metabolism. The multiphoton microscopy is a label-free method which means the tissues are not artificially labeled with a fluorescent molecule. This method can also provide a measurement of the naturally occurring cell and tissue autofluorescence. Tissue autofluorescence is the emission of light by molecules which absorbs light and is naturally present in cells and tissues. The molecules which were used in the study to monitor cell metabolism are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Optical redox ratio was used as a measurement to quantify the relative concentrations of NADH and FAD. A mouse was used to monitor the wound metabolism for a period of ten days.
Multiphoton microscopy is one of the first studies that shows changes in the optical redox ratio of tissues within animals. This study is a critical step in demonstrating the diagnostic potential of multiphoton microscopy for chronic wounds.