Background: As the world's population lives longer, the number of individuals at risk for pressure ulcers will increase considerably in the coming decades. In developed countries, up to 18% of nursing home residents suffer from pressure ulcers and the resulting hospital costs can account for up to 4% of a nation's health care budget. Although full-thickness surgical skin wounds have been used as a model, preclinical rodent studies have demonstrated that repeated cycles of ischemia and reperfusion created by exposure to magnets most closely mimic the human pressure ulcer condition.
Methods: This study uses in vivo and in vitro quantitative parameters to characterize the temporal kinetics and histology of pressure ulcers in young, female C57BL/6 mice exposed to 2 or 3 ischemia-reperfusion cycles. This pressure ulcer model was validated further in studies examining the efficacy of adipose-derived stromal/stem cell administration.
Results: Optimal results were obtained with the 2-cycle model based on the wound size, histology, and gene expression profile of representative angiogenic and reparative messenger RNAs. When treated with adipose-derived stromal/stem cells, pressure ulcer wounds displayed a dose-dependent and significant acceleration in wound closure rates and improved tissue histology.
Conclusion: These findings document the utility of this simplified preclinical model for the evaluation of novel tissue engineering and medical approaches to treat pressure ulcers in humans.