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A Non-contact Device For Quick Screening Of Wound Infections In Chronic Wound Patients
Jon Senkowsky1, Hong Vu2, Ashwin Nair2, Lan Tran2, Suvra Pal3, Liping Tang2, Wenjing Hu2.
1Texas Health Physician's group, Arlington, TX, USA, 2Progenitec Inc., Arlington, TX, USA, 3University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA.

BACKGROUND: Wound infections are detected based on clinician’s visual assessment. If an infection is suspected, a wound culture will be done to identify the pathogen. These test results take 2-3 days, by which time infection may have worsened. Also, collecting culture samples via deep-tissue biopsy, needle aspiration, and swab are costly, invasive, painful, and require special skill with risk for post-surgical trauma, wound disruption, and bacteremia. While test strips exist for indicating the presence of neutrophils (a hallmark of infection) based on esterase levels in urine and peritoneal dialysate, similar devices do not exist for wounds. The development and investigation of such a screening tool is the aim of this is study.
METHODS: A disposable device, DETEC™ esterase, was developed and characterized by its ability to detect wound infection by pressing a freshly recovered wound dressing against its test surface. Its ability to detect esterase was assessed in simulated wound fluids in vitro. A clinical study was conducted to correlate results from this device with microbiological culture results to determine its suitability as a screening tool for chronic wound infections.
RESULTS: The device had high esterase detection sensitivity (>90%) using simulated wound fluids soaked onto wound dressing and upon testing discarded wound dressings from human patients. The results were not affected by the wound dressing type and had equally high detection sensitivity for infection. Statistical analyses confirmed a strong association between device output and microbiological culture results for neutrophil counts and infection.
CONCLUSIONS: Without directly contacting the patient, this device quickly assesses (within 3 minutes), esterase activity in chronic wounds to detect the neutrophil presence and confirm wound infection. DETEC™ esterase has been developed to screen for infections during routine wound assessment and inform the decision-making process of a doctor or nurse at the point-of-care, auguring well for wound diagnosis and treatment.


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