In cutaneous wound healing, the role of oxygen in vivo is poorly understood. We studied wound surface pO(2) during physiological wound healing in humans. Split-thickness skin graft donor sites (n=12) served as standardized wound models. Wound surface pO(2) was measured at 1, 6 and 14days after split-skin harvesting using two-dimensional luminescence lifetime imaging (2D-LLI) of palladium(II)-meso-tetraphenyl-tetrabenzoporphyrin (Pd-TPTBP) in polystyrene-co-acrylonitrile (PSAN) particles on transparent foils. In another experiment, we removed the stratum corneum (SC) on the volar forearm (n=10) by tape strippings to study the impact of the SC on the epidermal oxygen barrier. Split-skin donor site pO(2) significantly decreased during the time course of physiological healing. Regional differences in pO(2) within donor site wounds were visualized for the first time in literature. No difference was found in pO(2) before and after SC removal, showing that the SC is not a major constituent of the epidermal oxygen barrier.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.