Effective method to remove wound bacteria: Comparison of various debridement modalities in an in vivo porcine model

Aron G. Nusbaum, Joel Gil, Marian K. Rippy, Brian Warne, Jose Valdes, Abel Claro, Stephen C. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Debridement is one of the crucial steps for successful wound care. In addition to removing necrotic tissue, debridement has been shown to reduce wound-associated bacteria that delay healing. Using an in vivo porcine model, we compared the effects of various methods of debridement, including hydrosurgery and plasma-mediated bipolar radiofrequency ablation (PBRA), on bacterial removal and wound healing. Methods: One hundred thirty-five deep dermal wounds were inoculated with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and covered with a polyurethane dressing for 48 h to allow for biofilm formation. Wounds were then treated with either PBRA (at two settings), hydrosurgery, sharp debridement, or no debridement. Biopsies were collected for microbiology and histologic assessment on d 0, 2, 9, and 21 post-treatment. Results: All treatment groups showed a statistically significant reduction in MRSA counts relative to no debridement at all times points (P < 0.05). PBRA at a maximum setting had the lowest MRSA counts at all recovery times and, compared with all other treatment groups, a statistically significant difference was observed on d 21 (P < 0.05). No detrimental effects on the healing process were noted with any of the debridement methods. Conclusion: While sharp debridement has been established as the traditional gold standard for rapid removal of necrotic, infected tissue, our results suggest that novel debridement modalities show clinical promise for the treatment of chronic ulcers and burn wounds, especially when bacteria are present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-707
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • debridement
  • hydrosurgery
  • plasma mediated bipolar radiofrequency ablation
  • wound bacteria
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective method to remove wound bacteria: Comparison of various debridement modalities in an in vivo porcine model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this