UA professor receives $1.6 million grant for chronic skin wound research

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A University of Arkansas professor has received a four-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop non-invasive, real-time “optical biopsies” of chronic skin wounds.

Biomedical engineering professor Kyle Quinn and researchers in his lab will attempt to provide “digital histopathology images, the microscopic examination of tissue to study the manifestation and progression of disease, and other quantitative information without the need for an invasive biopsy, tissue processing and staining with histology dyes,” according to a press release from the university.

Chronic wounds are skin injuries that fail to progress through the normal healing process. There are many types of chronic wounds, including pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers and arterial insufficiency ulcers.

These non-healing wounds can have different underlying causes, but are often characterized by inflamed tissue, poor blood circulation, callus formation or infection.

They affect more than 150 million people worldwide and cost approximately $50 billion in health care annually in the United States alone, according to the university’s release.

For several years, Quinn has been working on an alternative, quantitative imaging system that addresses some limitations of conventional histological analysis. Researchers in his lab use multiphoton microscopy to view tissue in three dimensions at the cellular level and generate 3D maps of wound metabolism.

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