Developing an instrument prototype for a wound care computer vision system using open-source electronics

Finished: 2023-07-11

BSc assignment

Client Information

The UT researcher Pep Canyelles Pericas is developing a new generation of smart patches for wound healing, particularly in complex wounds. Pep has published research works using Raspberry Pi to control complex hardware setups. The researcher has on-going collaborations with ZGT hospital in Almelo, where complex wounds are part of the strategic research. This project explores the development of an imaging system to be used at home for wound care. Recently, a UT Design Lab fellows fund project in a similar domain was awarded.

Project Background

The treatment of complex wounds requires combined clinical and home medical treatments. Currently large hospitals (such as ZGT) have wound expertise centres that are composed by clinicians from different disciplines. Patients with difficult wounds are assessed by a multidisciplinary team to arrange a suitable treatment. Commonly, the TIME (Tissue, Infection, Moist and Edge) decision making tree is followed, largely relying on the clinical’s staff expertise to diagnose and monitor wound healing. Severe patients start treatments at the hospital but as they recover, they continue treatments at home. Patient compliance to the given instructions and the lack of automated wound monitoring commonly hinder healing, setting recovery back. These are all conclusions obtained from our recent context analysis and stakeholder feedback collection from wound expertise centres, facilitated by the UT Design Lab Fellows Fund 2021 and researched by a team of interdisciplinary students from the UT and Saxion. Thus, there is a need for automated wound care monitoring technology for home use with direct connectivity to the clinic.


In this project, we want to develop an open-source-based monitoring system that displays the wound type and monitors the healing process. This project is focused on the design of the instrument and its implementation using 3D printing and rapid prototyping tools at the UT Design Lab. For this, a context of use analysis, outlining design assumptions, and stakeholder feedback collection from the hospital will need to be done. This project benefits from our previous DL project, where we understood and reported the way that complex wounds are being treated at ZGT. We have on-going collaborations with hospitals and the Design Lab that will help the implementation and testing of this project. This is a challenging project aimed at proactive, responsible, and professional students willing to kick start a career in design engineering, particularly in the field of medical innovations.

Constraints & Practical Aspects

The first step in this fellowship project will be to design 3D printed enclosures for the hardware building blocks pictured in Figure 1. We will analyse the assembly of these blocks to design a compact and fit-for-purpose instrument. The prototype will be assembled using design thinking practices and 3D printing prototyping tools at the Design Lab student workshop facilities. The project deliverable is a 3D CAD design and prototype for the fittings of Raspberry Pi and the high-quality camera module into a portable instrument.

Core skills needed: 3D CAD drawing skills at medium to advanced level. Interest and previous experience in rapid prototyping techniques (i.e. 3D printing) is highly beneficial. Affinity to the maker movement and ability to work in multidisciplinary teams will also be advantageous. The student needs to be able to work autonomously.