TheranOptics develops “lab-on-fiber” technology to deliver the next generation of chemical analytical tools for the diagnosis of chronic wounds. By enabling a standardized and continuous analysis of the biochemical composition of the wound at the patient bedside, these systems will support treatment decisions in an ambulatory fashion for improved chronic wound management.
Chronic wounds are skin lesions, which occur mainly in the form of pressure and venous ulcers. They are characterized by a deviation from the natural sequential steps of the healing process that impairs wound remodeling and re-epithelialization. Because these wounds are very difficult to treat and highly susceptible to infection, they require frequent examination and/or hospitalization, and their follow-up often extends over a year. Ulcers affect 1-2 % of the population, and their management represents 2-4 % of healthcare costs (1.2 – 2.4 Mrd CHF). In addition, according to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (OFS 2006), the risk of chronic wound occurrence doubles above the age of 80 years old. In Switzerland, this population will grow from 340’000 individuals in 2005 to 625’000 individuals in 2030 – nearly a doubling within 25 years. Thus, during the next decades, the demand for chronic wound management solutions is going to increase significantly due to population aging, with significant repercussions on the healthcare costs. Besides this huge impact on the economy, ulcers also greatly impact on the quality of life. They can generate a painful discomfort and mental anguish, and result in a reduction of the functional abilities of patients. In this context, physicians need efficient strategies for wound management.
TheranOptics develops fiber-based sensor equipment for chemical analysis of the biochemical composition of the wound bed. Currently, it focuses on two important biomarkers of the wound status: pH, and protease activity. These parameters are respectively associated with infection and inflammation pathologies, two major issues of chronic wounds. Thanks to their flexibility and suitability for remote measurement, the sensors can be integrated under conventional wound dressing, in direct contact with the wound bed, to perform in situ detection.