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, https://doi.org/10.1111/wrr.12888