Transdermal sustained-delivery oxygen therapy improves wound healing.
Experimental study using a well-established rabbit ear model for acute wound healing.
Wound-healing research laboratory in a university center.
Four full-thickness 7-mm punch wounds were created on each ear of young, female New Zealand white rabbits. Treated ears received transdermal sustained delivery of oxygen via silicone tubing tunneled subcutaneously to a pocket under a semiocclusive dressing. Oxygen production (100% oxygen at 3 mL/h continuously) relied on a small, self-contained device connected to the silicone tubing and secured to the rabbit’s back for the duration of the experiment using a body harness. Ears were harvested at each of 2 time points: day 5 and day 8.
Histologic analysis of the wounds showed significantly greater healing at both day 5 and day 8 in response to oxygen therapy. Most significantly, epithelial wound coverage was almost doubled in treated ear wounds when compared with controls.
Our results suggest that epithelial wound healing is improved by transdermal sustained-delivery treatment with 100% oxygen.