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Development of optical sensors for diagnosis of microvascular reactivity in COVID-19 patients and other severe acute respiratory diseases


The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a search for adjuvant and supportive interventions that can improve the clinical outcomes of infected patients. During the acute phase, clinical symptoms of the disease range from asymptomatic infection to severe pneumonia. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is the main complication in the critical acute cases, which quite often leads to the need for mechanical ventilation and accounts for more than 90% of the deaths. After the acute phase, the clinical evolution in the medium and long term in survivors is associated with functional sequelae, which may affect quality of life. Long-term sequelae in the subacute and chronic phase of COVID-19 is still poorly understood due to the short-time of the disease. In both the acute and the chronic phases, however, information on tissue oxygenation can be very useful for understanding the clinical course of the disease and predicting outcomes in infected patients. In this context, the present project aims to develop innovative, portable, scalable, reliable and inexpensive technologies that can quantify tissue oxygenation using diffuse optical spectroscopy methods. The devices will be tested in specific clinical protocols for each stage of the disease, which will allow to establish a relationship between the patients' prognosis and disorders in blood microcirculation. Therefore, it is expected that the technology developed in this project will lead to greater optimization of resources for patient treatment and monitoring, which should impact the quality of life of survivors - in addition to decreasing mortality and decreasing the costs of the related health system with morbidities resulting from COVID-19. (AU)

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