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VASCOVID Project Seeks to Improve Patient Care

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BARCELONA, Spain, Dec. 23, 2020 — A newly launched project, VASCOVID, has been selected as one of 23 initiatives from the EU’s recent call for coronavirus research projects. Led by professor Turgut Durduran and the medical optics group at ICFO, VASCOVID seeks to develop a portable, noninvasive, cost-effective, and real-time platform for the monitoring of microvascular health of COVID-19 patients in ICUs.
Mock-up of the VASCOVID device. The probe is placed on the palm of the patient and measures the parameters of interest with a near-infrared light. The medical readouts are visualized through a tablet. Courtesy of ICFO.
Mock-up of the VASCOVID device. The probe is placed on the palm of the patient and measures the parameters of interest with a near-infrared light. The medical readouts are visualized through a tablet. Courtesy of ICFO.

The platform makes use of two biophotonic technologies based on near-infrared: time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy. Light is shined into the palm of a patient, where it travels a little more than a centimeter into the tissue and interacts with the blood to retrieve information about blood flow and blood oxygenation of COVID-19 patients.

The technology considers specific variables such as oxygenated and de-oxygenated hemoglobin concentrations, as well as blood flow. It also includes an automated tourniquet to induce a period of ischemia to the palm by inflating the tourniquet above the arterial blood pressure. The response of the microvasculature is a known indicator of both microvascular and endothelial health.

In situations of cardiovascular insufficiency, peripheral nonvital areas such as the palm are the first to be sacrificed by the body. Previous studies have shown that the microvessels of a patients’ palm can serve as an indicator of what is going on within the body.

The team will work in collaboration with colleagues from Politecnico di Milano, Consorci Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí de Sabadell, and with the companies HemoPhotonics, BioPixs Ltd., Splendo Consulting BV, and Asphalion.

The technique could also be applied to monitor a broad range of other ailments, including sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Photonics.com
Dec 2020
BusinessCOVID-19COVID-19 NewsBiophotonicsspectroscopynear-infraredNIRvascularvasculaturemicrovasculatureEuropean Unionresearch projectpublic private partnershiphealth monitoringEurope

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