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Proposal to Develop a Hyperspectral Camera for Photographic Analysis of Biofilm Inflammatory and Microbial Constituents of Ocular, Nasal and Mouth/ Throat Mucosal inflammations

In addition to optimizing the optical quality of the visual system, the tear film over the surface of the cornea and conjunctiva serves to protect the exposed ocular surface with a number of anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial components. The constituents of the tear film are severely altered in a number of aspects with often accompanying severe irritation. The underlying causes of ocular surface (corneal and conjunctival) disease, similar to that of other mucosal inflammatory conditions (nose, mouth, gum, throat and tonsils) are poorly understood, and hence the treatments often are misdirected and inadequate with the frequent inappropriate application of antibiotics or anti-allergics without understanding the underlying cause of the inflammation or the causative bacteria or fungi. In addition, there is increasing evidence that inflammatory constituents, often caused by biofilm abnormalities, not only produce local tissue inflammation and scarring, but are conveyed systemically as causative or aggravating constituents of large vessel atherosclerosis as well as microvascular lesions occurring in a number of internal organs (e.g. myocardium, kidney, and retina). 

Hyperspectral ramon photographic imaging in a number of environments has offered the potential for microbial and proteonomic analysis, but has not been applied for analysis in human (or animal) surface tissues, such as mucosal surfaces and skin ulcers. Sinclair Technologies is in the process of cooperatively developing a photographic method that would assist in the detection and tracking over time of inflammatory cytokines (enzymes) and microbial colonization abnormalities of the surface mucosa of the eye, nose, and mouth, as well as those of poorly healing surface wounds and ulcers. Such a device will not only provide a superior examination of the type and causes of inflammation but will enhance the predictive modeling and evaluation of treatment that is now poorly accomplished largely through the limitations of physician examination and laboratory culturing of mucosal (or ulcer) swabs taken of the surface.

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