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Cellular benefits of single-use negative pressure wound therapy demonstrated in a novel ex vivo human skin wound model

Wilkinson, Holly N.; Longhorne, Francesca L.; Roberts, Elizabeth R.; Brownhill, Varuni R.; Hardman, Matthew J.


Francesca L. Longhorne

Elizabeth R. Roberts

Varuni R. Brownhill


Negative pressure wound therapy is a widely used treatment for chronic, nonhealing wounds. Surprisingly, few studies have systematically evaluated the cellular and molecular effects of negative pressure treatment on human skin. In addition, no study to date has directly compared recently available single‐use negative pressure modalities to traditional negative pressure devices in a controlled setting. Here we developed a novel large‐scale ex vivo human skin culture system to effectively evaluate the efficacy of two different negative pressure wound therapy modalities. Single‐use and traditional negative pressure devices were applied to human ex vivo wounded skin sheets cultured over a period of 48 hours. Cellular tissue response to therapy was evaluated via a combination of histological analysis and transcriptional profiling, in samples collected from the wound edge, skin adjacent to the wound, and an extended skin region. Single‐use negative pressure wound therapy caused less damage to wound edge tissue than traditional application, demonstrated by improved skin barrier, reduced dermal‐epidermal junction disruption and a dampened damage response. Transcriptional profiling confirmed significantly less activation of multiple pro‐inflammatory markers in wound edge skin treated with single‐use vs traditional negative pressure therapy. These findings may help to explain the greater efficacy of sNPWT in the clinic, while offering a noninvasive system to develop improved NPWT‐based therapies.


Wilkinson, H. N., Longhorne, F. L., Roberts, E. R., Brownhill, V. R., & Hardman, M. J. (in press). Cellular benefits of single-use negative pressure wound therapy demonstrated in a novel ex vivo human skin wound model. Wound Repair and Regeneration,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 20, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 30, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 2, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2021
Journal Wound Repair and Regeneration
Print ISSN 1067-1927
Electronic ISSN 1524-475X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Surgery; Dermatology
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Copyright Statement
© 2020 The Authors. Wound Repair and Regeneration published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Wound Healing Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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