Impact of Wound Dressing on Mechanotransduction within Tissues of Chronic Wounds

Kelly McElvain, “Impact of Wound Dressing on Mechanotransduction within Tissues of Chronic Wounds”
Mentor: Mahsa Dabagh, Biomedical Engineering
Oral Presentation Block 1

Acute and chronic wounds are significant public health problems, impacting the health-related quality of individuals’ lives. Acute wounds, like surgical and traumatic wounds, result in more than 17 million hospital visits each year in the United States. Treatment of these, in addition to chronic wounds, creates an immense economic burden to healthcare systems around the world. Commercially available wound dressings are extensively used as a part of standard of care. There remains a lack of knowledge regarding the role of dressing characteristics (including properties and size) on the wound healing process. On the other hand, the roles of mechanical forces on wound healing have recently gained significant clinical attention, where the application of mechanical forces is expected to influence the physiology and structure of the tissue surrounding a wound. Our objective is to investigate whether the force transmission within wound tissues is impacted by the dressing characteristics and whether this impact may differ with wound tissue’s properties. Throughout this study, three-dimensional wound tissue and dressing models were developed and simulated in order to study the impact of various properties on the transmission of force through tissues of chronic wounds. Our results demonstrate that the stiffness of dressing and tissue are both playing key roles in force transmission within wounds; when the stiffness of tissue and dressing are relatively close, the tissue experiences lower stresses. This study’s findings on the role of both dressing and tissue characteristics demonstrate that precision dressings are required and investigation on the role of mechanotransduction in wound healing will help in designing novel and more efficient dressings that can accelerate healing in chronic wounds.