eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2021   Volume No 42 – pages 63-71

Title: New quantitative automated model to simulate bacterial dissemination in human tissue during irrigation of contaminated wounds

Authors: C Brochhausen, F Froschermeier, V Alt, C Pfeifer, A Mayr, I Weiss, M Babel, H Siegmund, M Kerschbaum

Address: Department of Trauma Surgery, University Medical Centre Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauss Allee 11, 93053 Regensburg, Germany

E-mail: maximilian.kerschbaum at

Abstract: This study presents a simple and cost-effective model using microparticles to simulate the bacterial distribution pattern in soft tissue after low- and high-pressure irrigation. Silica coated iron microparticles [comparable diameter (1 µm) and weight (0.8333 pg) to Staphylococcus aureus] were applied to the surface of twenty fresh human muscle tissue samples in two amputated lower legs. Particle dissemination into deep tissue layers as an undesired side effect was investigated in four measuring fields as positive control (PC) as well as after performing pulsatile high-pressure (HP, 8 measuring fields) and low-pressure flushing (LP, 8 measuring fields). Five biopsies were taken out of each measuring field to get a total number of 100 biopsies. After histological and digital image processing, the specimens were analysed, and all incomplete sections were excluded. A special detection algorithm was parameterised using the open source bioimage analysis software QuPath. The application of this detection algorithm enabled automated counting and detection of the particles with a sensitivity of 95 % compared to manual counts. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences (p < 0.05) in our three different sample groups: HP (M = 1608, S = 302), LP (M = 2176, SD = 609) and PC (M = 4011, SD = 686). While both HP and LP flushing techniques are able to reduce the number of bacteria, a higher effectiveness is shown for HP irrigation. Nevertheless, a challenge for the validity of the study is the use of dead tissue and therefore a possible negative influence of high-pressure irrigation on tissue healing and further dispersion of particles cannot be evaluated.

Key Words: Soft tissue contamination, microparticles, automated particle count, digital whole slide image processing, jet lavage.

Publication date: August 3rd 2021

Article download: Pages 63-71 (PDF file)

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