The biological and physiological impact of the performance of wound dressings

Breda Cullen, Amit Gefen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chronic wounds affect millions globally and are a huge financial burden. Whilst there are many wound dressings commercially available to manage these wounds, the complexity of the repair process makes it difficult to select the right dressing for the right wound at the right time. Thus, in this narrative review, we have examined reasons why wounds fail to heal, summarised the pathophysiology of the chronic wound environment and provided an evidence-based, clinically-relevant compilation of the published literature relevant to dressing design and evaluation. This has highlighted the need for a deeper understanding of wound exudates, how exudates change throughout the healing process, and how they are impacted by different dressing materials. Studies assessing biochemical and biophysical changes in exudates throughout the healing process are extremely valuable in this regard, enhancing both our understanding of the wound healing process and the ability to assess dressing performance. In addition, this knowledge allows us to replicate various wound conditions in the laboratory, and develop clinically-relevant models for testing current and new dressings, therefore providing a more comprehensive understanding of how and when they should be used. This approach makes the use of dressings more effective, thereby improving outcomes, and reducing the economic burden of chronic wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1292-1303
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


FundersFunder number
Mölnlycke Health Care


    • chronic wounds
    • clinical outcomes
    • dressing design and evaluation
    • exudate
    • wound healing


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