Objective: Recent developments of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) systems have focused on making pumps smaller, lighter, and more portable. The recently introduced PICO system manages wound fluid through a highly breathable film within the dressing, thereby negating the need for a canister, which allows greater mobility and patient concordance. The aim of this study is to compare the biological effects of this system compared to a traditional NPWT system.
Methods: Laboratory tests were carried out to demonstrate the fluid handling properties of the PICO™ system. Porcine full thickness defect wounds and sutured incisional wounds were used to compare the biological effects. Wounds were treated with PICO dressings or traditional NPWT dressings and connected to either a PICO device or a traditional NPWT device.
Results: The PICO dressing manages exudate predominantly through evaporative loss (up to 85% of all fluid entering the dressing). Both traditional NPWT and the PICO system maintained therapeutic levels of negative pressure in all wounds. Both NPWT systems produced similar effects on wound edge contraction and microvascular blood flow in defect wounds. No significant changes in blood flow or wound contraction were noted in incision wounds for any NPWT combinations tested.
Conclusions: The disposable, canisterless PICO NPWT system functions in the same manner as the traditional NPWT systems with regard to fluid handling, pressure transmission to the wound bed, tissue contraction, and changes in blood flow.
Keywords: Blood flow; NPWT; dressing; vacuum; wound.