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Lewis Novack



Job Title

Research Specialist / Epidemiologist

Academic Rank


Medicine, Pathology, Surgery


Lewis A. Novack, Molly J. Carroll, Ira M. Herman, Dave B. Strasfeld, Mel McCurrie, Natalie H. Cain, Joanna B. Woodman, Lauren R. Bayer, Hannah Jin, Tenaizus Woods, Andres Avila Paz, Chinmay D. Patel, Stephen R. Walsh Anthony M. Sheets, Neil Seth, Marita Yaghi, Robert S Kirsner, Hadar Lev-Tov, W. David Lee, Dennis P. Orgill, Lindsey R. Baden

Principal Investigator

Baden, Lindsey Robert, MD, Dennis P. Orgill, MD, PhD

Research Category: Allergy, Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Diseases


Non-invasive diagnostics: capturing microbial burden, wound state and host healing responses

Scientific Abstract

Chronic wounds are a major cause of morbidity affecting millions of patients annually, especially those with long-standing diabetes, venous stasis, and peripheral vascular conditions. Diagnostics to determine an infected wound are quite limited. Without advanced diagnostics, capable of informing and ultimately correcting the underlying roots causes of wound chronicity, therapeutics may remain inconsistent or ineffective. Thus, there is a great need for identifying and characterizing what might be considered chronic wound biomarker panels that will rapidly and rigorously inform practitioners of wound status while predicting healing outcomes.

The diagnostic approaches are based on (i) non-invasive multi-spectral imaging that characterize several key features of any given wound’s metabolic features and physiologic status capable of capturing microbial burden, wound bed pH and the cellular or tissue-based activities reflective of inflammation, granulation and epithelialization and (ii) an exudate assessment technique that identifies wound state through assessment of key biochemical controllers and wound state drivers deemed essential for regulating host response to microbial challenge, inflammatory status, wound granulation state, and re-epithelialization.

The case studies we present illustrate the dynamic complexity of healing and nonhealing chronic wounds, and how this technological approach can inform practitioners of wound status for inflammation, infection, granulation, and epithelialization.

Lay Abstract

We are developing a non-invasive fluorescence-based (multi-spectral) diagnostic technology and multiplexed wound exudate array to determine a patient’s wound condition, including inflammation and the presence of infectious microorganisms.

This is a non-invasive imaging system that does not pose any additional hazards to patients beyond the typical standard of care because it does not involve any contact with the patient and is based upon well-established optical imaging techniques.

The results of this study will aid the development of diagnostic technology in detecting indicators of inflammation, infection, granulation, and epithelialization. The development of such a diagnostic tool will facilitate physicians in early diagnosis of infectious diseases such as cellulitis in the future. The imaging and assay systems monitor the biochemical and spectral signatures of key Physico-chemical, structural, and molecular markers of wound healing progression. The images taken will be evaluated to recommend a course of action that minimizes wound healing time.

Clinical Implications

The device would have a major societal impact in venues including health care centers, retirement homes, and the military. The ability to recognize the trajectory of wound healing early on will improve quality of life while decreasing expenses, and complications.