National Physical Laboratory

Non-invasive wound measurement

NPL and Isotec Imaging are advancing the treatment of leg ulcers by developing a portable calibrated instrument for quick non-contact measurements of open wounds.

Colour squares

Leg ulcers are a chronic condition affecting 1 in 100 people in the UK and costing the NHS about £500 million a year to treat.

The new system measures area, volume and swelling, and records colour non-invasively. To monitor wound healing effectively it is essential that these measurements are consistent between instruments. NPL is providing the calibration and measurement expertise needed to deliver the necessary consistency and accuracy.

The system uses a digital camera with a stereo image attachment. Images are digitised and analysed using a special algorithm that recognises common points in image pairs. However, dimensional accuracy may be affected by optical distortion and colour reproduction may vary between cameras and with time. NPL's goal was to design and fabricate dimensional calibration artefacts with flesh-like textured surfaces and to devise procedures to ensure accurate colour recording.

For further information, please contact Richard Stevens

Find out more about NPL's research in Biotechnology and Healthcare

Last Updated: 10 Jan 2013
Created: 11 Nov 2010

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