Potential Future Applications for Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and Installation Devices
Reuben A. Falola, MPH, Medical Student Research Scholar, Caitlin M. Ward, BA, Student, Madison J. Kim, Student, Tammer Elmarsafi, DPM, MBBCh, Diabetic Limb Salvage Fellow, John S. Steinberg, DPM, Attending Physician, Karen K. Evans, MD, Attending Physician, Christopher E. Attinger, MD, Attending Physician, Paul J. Kim, DPM, MS, Attending Physician, Department of Plastic Surgery, Center for Wound Healing, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
Negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) applies vacuum pressure to a wound bed sealed by an adhesive dressing to improve wound healing. A cleansing solution, often antibiotics or saline, may be instilled into the wound bed concurrently and removed via suction, thus enhancing the therapeutic effect. The therapeutic effect results from improved blood flow and removal of inflammatory factors. Since 1995, the FDA has approved NPWT for medical use. Since then, this technology has been applied to different types of wounds, including diabetic and decubitus ulcers and postsurgical incisional wounds. There are many applications for NPWT that remain to be explored. In this article, we postulate on novel and future uses for NPWT, including application in targeted drug delivery, stem cell therapy, and the prospect of combination with filtration devices, adaptable smart dressings, and remote monitoring.