A multimodal, comprehensive characterization of a cutaneous wound model in healthy volunteers.

Ten Voorde W, Saghari M, Boltjes J, de Kam ML, Zhuparris A, Feiss G, Buters TP, Prens EP, Damman J, Niemeyer-van der Kolk T, Moerland M, Burggraaf J, van Doorn MBA, Rissmann R

Development of pharmacological interventions for wound treatment is challenging due to both poorly understood wound healing mechanisms and heterogeneous patient populations. A standardized and well-characterized wound healing model in healthy volunteers is needed to aid in-depth pharmacodynamic and efficacy assessments of novel compounds. The current study aims to objectively and comprehensively characterize skin punch biopsy-induced wounds in healthy volunteers with an integrated, multimodal test battery. Eighteen (18) healthy male and female volunteers received three biopsies on the lower back, which were left to heal without intervention. The wound healing process was characterized using a battery of multimodal, non-invasive methods as well as histology and qPCR analysis in re-excised skin punch biopsies. Biophysical and clinical imaging read-outs returned to baseline values in 28 days. Optical coherence tomography detected cutaneous differences throughout the wound healing progression. qPCR analysis showed involvement of proteins, quantified as mRNA fold increase, in one or more healing phases. All modalities used in the study were able to detect differences over time. Using multidimensional data visualization, we were able to create a distinction between wound healing phases. Clinical and histopathological scoring were concordant with non-invasive imaging read-outs. This well-characterized wound healing model in healthy volunteers will be a valuable tool for the standardized testing of novel wound healing treatments.