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Background: Ultraviolet (UV)-A therapy is a simple, inexpensive, and effective modality for wound healing, with tremendous potential to improve healing and reduce clinical infections in a number of clinical settings. To date, application of UV-A relies on bulky and hard-to-dose lamps that provide inconsistent therapy, thus making it difficult to apply therapy that is appropriate for the patient.
Methods: This study was designed to test the effectiveness of a novel wound therapy device that combines UV-A with traditional negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) to promote wound healing. Furthermore, we tested the ability of fiberoptic UV-A delivery to inhibit bacterial proliferation. Finally, we assayed the level of DNA damage that results from UV-A as compared to established UV-C therapies. Wound healing studies were performed in a porcine model using an articulated therapy arm that allows for continued therapy administration over an extended time course. Negative-pressure wound therapy was administered alone or with UV-A fiberoptic therapy for 2 weeks. Dressings were changed twice a week, at which time wound area was assessed.
Results: Data demonstrate that UV-A with NPWT treatment of wounds results in greater healing than NPWT alone. Using the same therapy device, we demonstrate that exposure of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to fiberoptic UV-A results in decreased colony area and number of both bacterial strains. Finally, we show that UV-A induces minimal DNA damage in human fibroblasts and no more DNA damage in wound tissue as compare to intact skin.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that UV-A can decrease bacterial proliferation and promote wound healing when coupled with NPWT.