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Comparing Single-Use and Traditional Negative Pressure Wound Therapies: A Study on Human Skin


Matthew Hardman

Professor Matthew Hardman

Director of Research (Hull), Chair in Wound Healing


Dr Holly Wilkinson

Lecturer in Wound Healing



About the research

This research focuses on negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), a common treatment for chronic, non-healing wounds.

The researchers developed a new large-scale system to culture human skin outside the body (ex vivo) to effectively compare the effects of two different NPWT modalities: single-use and traditional devices.

These devices were applied to wounded skin samples and cultured for 48 hours.

The researchers then evaluated the skin's cellular response to the therapy through histological analysis (studying the microscopic structure of the tissues) and transcriptional profiling (studying the gene expression). 

Industry application

The research was likely conducted in the medical or healthcare industry, specifically in the field of wound care and treatment.

Study findings

The study found that single-use NPWT caused less damage to the wound edge tissue compared to the traditional method. This was evidenced by an improved skin barrier, less disruption of the junction between the dermis and epidermis, and a reduced damage response.

Transcriptional profiling confirmed that there was significantly less activation of multiple pro-inflammatory markers in skin treated with single-use NPWT compared to traditional NPWT. 


Wilkinson HN, Longhorne FL, Roberts ER, Brownhill VR, Hardman MJ. Cellular benefits of single-use negative pressure wound therapy demonstrated in a novel ex vivo human skin wound model. Wound Repair Regen. 2021 Mar;29(2):298-305. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12888. Epub 2020 Dec 30. PMID: 33378127; PMCID: PMC9291807.

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