Background: All wounds have unique and irregular topographies, including cavities where fluids and bacteria may collect and increase the risk of wound infection.
Aims: To qualitatively and quantitatively investigate the relationship between the physical structure of antiseptic wound dressings and their ability to manage bioburden in models that simulate clinical conditions.
Methods: In vitro models were utilised to enable both visualisation of the conformability of silver-containing dressings with a simulated wound tissue surface, and measure the corresponding antimicrobial effect that these dressings had on a shallow wound microbial model.
Results: Tissue contact and antimicrobial activity was shown with a silver-containing Hydrofiber® dressing (HF-Ag) over a 48-hour contact period. In contrast, the silver-containing foam dressings tested demonstrated areas of non-conformability which were associated with reduced antimicrobial activity.
Conclusions: These in vitro studies confirm that both dressing conformability and silver availability to bacteria at the wound surface are critical to the optimum functioning of silver-containing dressings.
Conflict of interest: The study was sponsored by ConvaTec.