Development of an experimental ex vivo wound model to evaluate antimicrobial efficacy of topical formulations

Madelene Andersson, Lone Bruhn Madsen, Artur Schmidtchen, Manoj Puthia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wound infections are considered a major cause for wound-associated morbidity. There is a high demand for alternative, robust, and affordable methods that can provide relatable and repro-ducible results when testing topical treatments, both in research and in the pharmaceutical industry. Here we present an ex vivo wound infection model using porcine skin and a burn wounding method, allowing for the efficacy evaluation of topical antimicrobial formulations. Utilizing this model, we demonstrate the potential of topical treatments after infecting the wounds with clinically significant bacteria, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. We show that the method is compatible with several analytical tools used to analyze infection and antimicrobial effects. Both bacterial strains success-fully infected the wound surface, as well as deeper regions of the tissue. Quantification of viable bacteria on the wound surface and in the tissue, longitudinal measurements of bioluminescence, fluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy were used to confirm the effects of an-tibacterial treatments. Furthermore, we show that biofilms are formed on the wound surface, indi-cating that the demonstrated method mirrors typical in vivo infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5045
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


  • Antibiotics
  • Antimicrobial
  • Biofilm
  • Burn
  • Ex vivo
  • Wound healing
  • Wound model


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