Current and novel assessment methods in acute wound healing and skin scarring.

  • Rubinder Basson

Student thesis: Phd


In excess of 20 million people are affected by skin scarring in the United Kingdom alone, yet scars are considered trivial, and an accepted outcome as a result of injury to the skin. However, despite their clinical significance, there is a paucity in literature and a lack of an objective, standardised model for scar assessment. This thesis aims to test the hypotheses that (1). Use of sequential skin biopsies can validate data from non-invasive devices, which can be used subsequently to assess the efficacy of anti-scar treatments applied topically, and (2). Novel spectroscopic techniques can be used for non-invasive early detection of fibrosis in acute wound healing. A double-blind treatment vs. control model is discussed. An excisional punch biopsy method on 45 healthy volunteers who applied a treatment topical (Mebo scar) with unknown actives. The use of non-invasive devices helped to guide laboratory analysis with some positive findings in hydration and collagen when compared to baseline (normal skin) against a control. The aim was to demonstrate a model which may be used alongside traditional methods such as scar scales which are often subjective, in order to provide an objective and quantitative data. Transdermal delivery of Mebo scar through scar tissue was assessed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MS) identifying the presence of tyramine and linoleic acid thought to be ‘actives’ within the topical. Raman spectroscopy, (RS) was also performed on skin samples, although without quantification of ingredients, could not verify their presence. A future approach of both techniques may prove useful. A potential role for RS in the detection of fibrosis through the protein conformational changes was evaluated. Use of spectroscopic techniques such as RS in the clinical setting may prove useful for simultaneous evaluation of the effects of compounds within topicals and conformational changes within healing scars alongside traditional methods.
Date of Award31 Dec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRachel Watson (Supervisor) & Kimberly Mace (Supervisor)


  • skin
  • scar
  • keloid
  • topicals
  • transdermal delivery
  • Raman spectroscopy

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