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Wound Repair Regen. 2010 Sep-Oct;18(5):467-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2010.00608.x. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Delayed wound healing in diabetic (db/db) mice with Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm challenge: a model for the study of chronic wounds.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Chronic wounds are a major clinical problem that lead to considerable morbidity and mortality. We hypothesized that an important factor in the failure of chronic wounds to heal was the presence of microbial biofilm resistant to antibiotics and protected from host defenses. A major difficulty in studying chronic wounds is the absence of suitable animal models. The goal of this study was to create a reproducible chronic wound model in diabetic mice by the application of bacterial biofilm. Six-millimeter punch biopsy wounds were created on the dorsal surface of diabetic (db/db) mice, subsequently challenged with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO1) biofilms 2 days postwounding, and covered with semiocclusive dressings for 2 weeks. Most of the control wounds were epithelialized by 28 days postwounding. In contrast, none of biofilm-challenged wounds were closed. Histological analysis showed extensive inflammatory cell infiltration, tissue necrosis, and epidermal hyperplasia adjacent to challenged wounds-all indicators of an inflammatory nonhealing wound. Quantitative cultures and transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that the majority of bacteria were in the scab above the wound bed rather than in the wound tissue. The model was reproducible, allowed localized cutaneous wound infections without high mortality, and demonstrated delayed wound healing following a biofilm challenge. This model may provide an approach to study the role of microbial biofilms in chronic wounds as well as the effect of specific biofilm therapy on wound healing.

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