Pressure ulcers are localised degenerations of soft tissue caused by mechanical loading. They can originate at the skin surface, but also at deeper lying soft tissue layers. The latter type of ulcer is called a deep tissue injury (DTI). DTI is hard to diagnose since the skin surface obscures the developing wound. Especially patients who lack sensation or who are unconscious, e.g. spinal cord injured or comatose subjects, are vulnerable for DTI since they do not feel the wound developing or are unable to communicate this. Usually once the DTI breaks the skin, a very severe ulcers (category III or IV) can be detected.
The exact mechanisms which cause DTI are relatively unclear. The proposed mechanisms are: 1) ischemia, 2) direct deformation, 3) ischemia-reperfusion injury, and 4) lymphatic blockage. To understand how these processes induce DTI controlled experiments need to be performed to unravel the specific temporal and spatial effects of each mechanism.
The goal of this study is to determine the physiological response of the muscle to loading using histology. Tibialis anterior muscles which were loaded for 2 hour will be made available to the students. Several staining techniques can be employed to investigate tissue damage, the inflammatory and regenerative response.