Local inflammatory response after burn injuries has not been extensively studied by now, because adequate sampling technologies have been missing. In this study, we investigated the local inflammatory response after a topically applied burn and scalding stimulus, respectively in fresh excised human skin with dermal Open Flow Microperfusion (dOFM). dOFM is a continuous sampling technique which enables monitoring of local skin processes by sampling of interstitial fluid (ISF) directly from the dermis. In a feasibility study three test areas were applied on one skin flap. One test area was treated with a burn stimulus induced by a heated metal block, the second with a scalding stimulus induced by boiling water and the third test area was left untreated to serve as negative control site. Three OFM probes were inserted into each test area at a depth of about 0.8 mm. The temperature in the dermis was measured with temperature sensors during each stimulus. ISF was continuously sampled with dOFM directly from the dermis from half an hour before to 48 hours after the respective stimulus was applied. The half-hourly and hourly aliquots were used to screen for approximately 100 inflammatory biomarkers. Burn injuries were histologically verified. We observed a difference in cytokine levels between the areas treated with burn and scalding stimulus, respectively and the control site. The effect remained consistent for the monitoring period of 48 hours. The areas treated with burn and scalding stimulus, respectively showed comparable cytokine levels. Further ex vivo experiments will be performed to assess reproducibility of the results. Additionally, the ex vivo results will be compared with in vivo results to verify the usability of this ex vivo model.
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