Computational Modelling of Water Transport in Hydrocolloid Wound Dressing, DuoDERMⓇ CGF, and Design Recommendations
Cabot, Jackson; Klein, Robert; Sasso, Grainger; Sasso, Grainger; Zhang, Viola
Hydrocolloids, and further hydrogels, have arisen as attractive next-generation wound dressings because of their modularity and ability to retain moisture. Hydrocolloids, like DuoDERM Ⓡ CGF, are intended for partial and full thickness wounds. They may be used for minor burns, cuts, tears, abrasions, as well as lacerations, ulcers, and some traumatic or surgical wounds. A computational simulation of water transport in wounds with hydrocolloid dressings was implemented in order to understand the mechanisms of hydrocolloid wound dressings as they relate to water transport. The ideal dressing will maintain the wounded tissue at physiological water content levels while also retaining moisture within the dressing itself to promote re-epithelialization of tissue. This study aims to determine the effectiveness of current wound dressings with respect to retaining moisture and maintaining the skin at physiological levels of water content. This study further seeks to optimize current wound dressing design parameters in order to improve water retention above the wound bed and maintenance of physiological skin water content. To study the transfer of liquid water in skin and an example hydrocolloid wound dressing, a computational model was built in COMSOL Multiphysics Ⓡ Modeling Software using a multifrontal direct solver (MUMPS). This model primarily detailed water transport processes in the skin (stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis) with an example hydrocolloid dressing DuoDERM Ⓡ CGF (hydrocolloid and polymeric barrier layer). The use of the model can be extended to larger or smaller wound areas as well as different types of hydrocolloid dressings. The parameters of the materials can be easily altered to fit new materials being simulated, however the model is only valid up to the time right before the hydrocolloid would start to degrade. The model considered the skin layers, wound surface, hydrocolloid, and polymeric barrier layer to be a 2D, axisymmetric cylinder. Water (mass) transport was considered diffusion in porous media in the skin and diffusion in the hydrocolloid and polymeric layers. The swelling effect, typical of hydrocolloids, was modeled using deforming geometry. After validating the model, an objective function was created in order to quantify the performance of the model based on its ability to maintain physiological water content in the skin as well as its ability to retain moisture in the hydrocolloid domain above the wound bed. Using this objective function, the material properties of the hydrocolloid dressing were altered in order to obtain an optimal solution, where the dressing would maintain an ideally moist environment. The results confirmed that the hydrocolloid wound dressing retains moisture but does not satisfactorily maintain wounded tissue near physiological levels of water content. The optimization suggested the variation of two hydrocolloid parameters, the diffusivity and the partitioning coefficient between the skin and hydrocolloid, in order to improve its performance. Lowering the diffusivity of the hydrocolloid resulted in a higher water concentration above the wound bed. Decreasing the partition coefficient (an effect observed by increasing the hydrophobicity of the hydrocolloid) reduced the flux of water from the wound to the dressing. The combined effect of a reduced diffusivity and partition coefficient allowed greater regions of the wound to retain physiological water content levels and improved water retention near the wound bed. These results will inform the design of future generations of wound dressings and elucidate difficulties in the use of hydrophilic wound dressings like hydrocolloids and hydrogels.
Wound Dressings, Water Transport, Wound Healing, Hydrocolloids, Material Design