The purpose of this Creative Inquiry is to test whether near-infrared (NIR) imaging devices can detect areas of skin at risk for ulceration in diabetic patients. Venous blood accumulation, or high levels of deoxygenated blood within a tissue, can indicate poor blood circulation and increased risk of ulceration. Here we propose to detect venous blood in tissues using differences in optical spectra of oxygenated vs. deoxygenated blood in NIR region. We previously designed and built a prototype scanner with three integrated NIR light sources that is being tested at MUSC. Our current work is focused on testing of improved NIR illumination systems and improved NIR imaging device, and our second prototype that uses a more sensitive Raspberry Pi-controlled camera and advanced NIR light sources will provide significantly improved image quality. Upon success, the ultimate goal of this project is to manufacture a cheap, portable NIR camera for skin self-monitoring by diabetic patients.
Portilla Rodriguez, M.; Hoelzen, M.; Athavale, D.; Reukov, V.; and Shaporev, A., "NIR camera for early detection of diabetic ulcers" (2014). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 46.