Validation of a sub-epidermal moisture scanner for early detection of pressure ulcers in an ex vivo porcine model of localized oedema
Pressure ulcers (PUs) remain a chronic health problem with severe impacts on healthcare systems. Early detection is crucial to providing effective interventions. However, detecting PUs currently relies on subjective tissue evaluations, such as visual skin assessment, precluding interventions prior to the development of visible tissue damage. There is an unmet need for solutions that can detect early tissue damage before visual and tactile signs occur. Assessments based on sub-epidermal moisture (SEM) measurements represent an opportunity for robust and objective early detection of PUs, preventing broken skin PUs in more high-risk patients at high-risk anatomical locations. While SEM assessment technology has been validated in computational, bench and tissue phantom models, validation in soft tissue was absent. In this study, we successfully validated the ability of a commercially available SEM assessment device to measure and detect sub-epidermal moisture changes in a novel ex vivo porcine soft tissue model of localised oedema. When controlled and incremental fluid volumes (Phosphate Buffer Solution) were injected into porcine soft tissues, statistically significant differences were found in SEM values between fluid-injected sites, representing an inflammatory oedematous condition, and healthy tissue control sites, as measured by the SEM device. The device provided reproducible readings by detecting localised oedema changes in soft tissues, reflecting the build-up of fluid as small as 1 ml into the underlying tissue. Spatial characterization experiments described the ability of the device technology to differentiate between healthy and oedematous tissue. Our findings validate the use of SEM assessment technology to measure and quantify localized oedema.
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 892407
CommentsThe original article is available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/
Published CitationBrunetti G. et al. Validation of a sub-epidermal moisture scanner for early detection of pressure ulcers in an ex vivo porcine model of localized oedema. J Tissue Viability. 2023:S0965-206X(23)00073-6.
Publication Date8 July 2023
- Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine
- School of Nursing and Midwifery
- Skin Wounds and Trauma (SWaT) Research Centre
- Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG)
- Published Version (Version of Record)