Lab Analysis of Wound Tissue
One of the most important steps in the Winthrop Wound Healing Center's approach to treating complex wounds takes place in the laboratories of our colleagues in the Winthrop-University Hospital's pathology and microbiology laboratories. There, scientists analyze the tissue samples we take from our patients with chronic wounds in the course of surgically debriding (cleaning) their wounds. This tissue is analyzed in two different ways:
The Winthrop pathologists look at slides containing thin slices of patient tissue samples, in order to check for abnormalities in the tissue such as molecular biomarkers indicating that the tissue's ability to heal has been impaired—including c-myc, β-catenin and various microRNAs—as well as abnormalities in the structure of the various tissue components. This analysis helps guide us in the surgical debridement of the wound, and also helps us understand which regenerative therapies will be most effective for that patient's wound.
The Winthrop microbiologists perform a different set of tests on their tissue samples, analyzing them for the presence of various infectious bacteria and fungi. This analysis is also critical, since it helps determine whether and to what extent infection is present in the wound tissue and/or the underlying bone, as well as what antibiotics or other therapies should administered to combat the infection.
The laboratory findings for each patient at the Winthrop Wound Healing Center are discussed in detail at our weekly pathology conference, which is attended by our entire wound healing team.
ILLUSTRATION: Below, members of the Winthrop-University Hospital wound healing team holding their weekly conference. Note the multi-viewer microscope system, which allows all team members to view and comment on a single microscopic sample at the same time.