Bacteria- and fungus-binding mesh binds with and inactivates bacteria and fungus, which makes it an interesting alternative, wound filler for negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT). This study was conducted to compare the performance of pathogen-binding mesh, foam and gauze as wound fillers in NPWT with regard to pressure transduction, fluid retention, wound contraction and microvascular blood flow. Wounds on the backs of 16 pigs were filled with pathogen-binding mesh, foam or gauze and treated with NPWT. The immediate effects of 0, -40, -60, -80 and -120 mmHg, on pressure transduction and blood flow were examined in eight pigs using laser Doppler velocimetry. Wound contraction and fluid retention were studied during 72 hours of NPWT at -80 and -120 mmHg in the other eight pigs. Pathogen-binding mesh, gauze and foam provide similar pressure transduction to the wound bed during NPWT. Blood flow was found to decrease 0.5 cm laterally from the wound edge and increase 2.5 cm from the wound edge, but was unaltered 5.0 cm from the wound edge. The increase in blood flow was similar with all wound fillers. The decrease in blood flow was more pronounced with foam than with gauze and pathogen-binding mesh. Similarly, wound contraction was more pronounced with foam, than with gauze and pathogen-binding mesh. Wound fluid retention was the same in foam and pathogen-binding mesh, while more fluid was retained in the wound when using gauze. The blood flow 0.5-5 cm from the wound edge and the contraction of the wound during NPWT were similar when using pathogen-binding mesh and gauze. Wound fluid was efficiently removed when using pathogen-binding mesh, which may explain previous findings that granulation tissue formation is more rapid under pathogen-binding mesh than under gauze. This, in combination with its pathogen-binding properties, makes this mesh an interesting wound filler for use in NPWT.
Keywords: Blood flow; Experimental surgery; Negative pressure wound therapy; Wound dressing; Wound healing.
© 2012 The Authors. International Wound Journal © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Medicalhelplines.com Inc.