The influence zone: A critical performance measure for negative pressure wound therapy systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article provides an introduction to the theory of, what is termed, the 'influence zone' in the context of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT). It is a quantitative bioengineering performance measure for NPWT systems, to indicate their effectiveness, namely, how far from the wound bed edges a specific system is able to deliver effective mechano-stimulation into the periwound, and at which intensity. The influence zone therefore provides objective and standardised metrics of one of the fundamental modes of action of NPWT systems: The ability to effectively and optimally deform both the wound and periwound macroscopically and microscopically. Most important is the mechanical deformation of the periwound area to activate cells responsible for tissue repair, particularly (myo)fibroblasts. Notably, the influence zone must extend sufficiently into the periwound to stimulate (myo)fibroblasts in order that they migrate and progress the wound healing process, facilitating the formation of scar tissue, without overstretching the periwound tissues so as not cause or escalate further cell and tissue damage. The inclusion of the influence zone theory within research to investigate the efficacy of NPWT systems facilitates systematic comparisons of commercially available and potentially new systems. This approach has the capacity to guide not only research and development work, but also clinical decision-making. Recently published research found that inducing an effective influence zone first and foremost requires continuous delivery of the intended pressure to the wound bed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S8-S12
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number15
StatePublished - 11 Aug 2022


  • Bioengineering laboratory research of skin repair
  • Cell and tissue biomechanics
  • Dermal and subdermal mechanobiology
  • Hard-To-heal wounds
  • Surgical incision healing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence zone: A critical performance measure for negative pressure wound therapy systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this