Foam Pore Size Is a Critical Interface Parameter of Suction-Based Wound Healing Devices

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Suction-based wound healing devices with open-pore foam interfaces are widely used to treat complex tissue defects. The impact of changes in physicochemical parameters of the wound interfaces has not been investigated.


Full-thickness wounds in diabetic mice were treated with occlusive dressing or a suction device with a polyurethane foam interface varying in mean pore size diameter. Wound surface deformation on day 2 was measured on fixed tissues. Histologic cross-sections were analyzed for granulation tissue thickness (hematoxylin and eosin), myofibroblast density (α-smooth muscle actin), blood vessel density (platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1), and cell proliferation (Ki67) on day 7.


Polyurethane foam–induced wound surface deformation increased with polyurethane foam pore diameter: 15 percent (small pore size), 60 percent (medium pore size), and 150 percent (large pore size). The extent of wound strain correlated with granulation tissue thickness that increased 1.7-fold in small pore size foam–treated wounds, 2.5-fold in medium pore size foam–treated wounds, and 4.9-fold in large pore size foam–treated wounds (p < 0.05) compared with wounds treated with an occlusive dressing. All polyurethane foams increased the number of myofibroblasts over occlusive dressing, with maximal presence in large pore size foam–treated wounds compared with all other groups (p < 0.05).


The pore size of the interface material of suction devices has a significant impact on the wound healing response. Larger pores increased wound surface strain, tissue growth, and transformation of contractile cells. Modification of the pore size is a powerful approach for meeting biological needs of specific wounds.

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