Chronic wounds impose a significant financial burden for the healthcare system. Currently, assessment and monitoring of hard-to-heal wounds are often based on visual means and measuring the size of the wound. The primary wound dressings must be removed before assessment can be done. We have developed a quasi-monopolar bioimpedance-measurement-based method and a measurement system to determine the status of wound healing. The objective of this study was to demonstrate that with an appropriate setup, long-term monitoring of wound healing from beneath the primary dressings is feasible. The developed multielectrode sensor array was applied on the wound area and left under the primary dressings for 142 h. The impedance of the wounds and the surrounding intact skin area was measured regularly during the study at 150 Hz, 300 Hz, 1 kHz, and 5 kHz frequencies. At the end of the follow-up period, the wound impedance had reached the impedance of the intact skin at the higher frequencies and increased significantly at the lowest frequencies. The measurement frequency affected the measurement sensitivity in wound monitoring. The skin impedance remained stable over the measurement period. The sensor array also enabled the administration of periodical low-intensity direct current (LIDC) stimulation in order to create an antimicrobial environment across the wound area via the controlled formation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
Keywords: beneath the dressings; bioimpedance; hydrogen peroxide; long-term monitoring; low-intensity direct current; multielectrode; quasi-monopolar; sensor array; wound dressing; wound monitoring; wound stimulation.