Mechano-modulation of burn wound repair

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The Ohio State University

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Scarring is a common complication following second degree or deeper burn wounds. Compressive forces, produced by pressure garments, have been shown to prevent excessive contracture and scarring following burn wounds. Despite this evidence, little is known regarding the optimal magnitude or duration of force or the molecular mechanisms responsible for these benefits. The purpose of this study was to uncover the mechanisms by which compression therapy functions and develop new mechanically-based therapies to prevent post-burn scarring while maintaining high patient compliance. Full-thickness burn wounds were generated on Red Duroc pigs using an electronic microstat-controlled heat delivery device which was heated to 200 + 5 ºC and placed on the porcine skin for 30 seconds. Wounds were allowed to heal for 28 days after which 10% compression was applied to half the wounds via F47 compression fabric. Wound area, wound perfusion, and wound hardness and elasticity were quantified at days 0, 28, 42, 56, 78 using computerized planimetry, Laser Doppler and torsional ballistometry, respectively. Wound morphology was assessed at days 28, 56 and 78 using histology, immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. The use of compression reduced wound contraction with control skin contracting to 65 ± 5.31% original area at day 78 and wounds receiving compression contracting to 85 ± 5.70% original area. Compression therapy slightly reduced skin hardness, helped to return skin elasticity, and increased ultimate tensile strength and linear stiffness of skin. Wound perfusion and collagen fibril deposition were not found to cause the observed differences, but future studies will investigate the role inflammation and molecular pathways play in this process.



burn wound healing