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Title:
CUSTOMIZABLE COMPOSITE DRESSINGS FOR IMPROVED GRANULATION AND REDUCED MACERATION NEGATIVE-PRESSURE TREATMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/226667
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A dressing may include a cover including a non-porous film, a manifold adhered to the non-porous film, a tissue interface including a hydrophobic film adhered to the manifold, and a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film adjacent to the manifold. The cover, the manifold, and the tissue interface each have an exposed perimeter. The dressing may also include an attachment device configured to seal the exposed perimeter of each of the cover, the manifold, and the tissue interface.

Inventors:
LOCKE CHRISTOPHER (GB)
ROBINSON TIMOTHY (GB)
Application Number:
US2018/036019
Publication Date:
December 13, 2018
Filing Date:
June 05, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KCI LICENSING INC (US)
International Classes:
A61M1/00; A61F13/00; A61F13/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016014645A12016-01-28
Foreign References:
US20020082567A12002-06-27
US20130261534A12013-10-03
US20140200532A12014-07-17
US8690844B22014-04-08
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WELCH, Gerald, T. et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A dressing for use with negative-pressure treatment, the dressing comprising:

a cover comprising a non-porous film;

a manifold adhered to the non-porous film; and

a fluid control layer adhered to the manifold;

wherein the manifold and the fluid control layer each have an exposed perimeter.

2. The dressing of claim 1, further comprising a fluid port coupled to the cover and fluidly coupled to the manifold through the cover.

3. The dressing of claim 1, further comprising an attachment device configured to seal the exposed perimeter of the cover, the manifold, and the tissue interface.

4. The dressing of claim 1, further comprising a gel layer having a plurality of apertures at least partially aligned with the fluid restrictions.

5. The dressing of claim 4, further comprising a fluid port coupled to the cover and fluidly coupled to the manifold through the cover.

6. The dressing of claim 5, further comprising an attachment device configured to seal the exposed perimeter of the manifold and the fluid control layer.

7. The dressing of any preceding claim, wherein the fluid control layer comprises a hydrophobic film and a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film.

8. The dressing of claim 7, wherein the hydrophobic film has a contact angle with water greater than 90 degrees.

9. The dressing of claim 7, wherein the hydrophobic film is a polyethylene film.

10. The dressing of claim 7, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slots, each of the slots having a length less than 4 millimeters.

11. The dressing of claim 7, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slots, each of the slots having a width less than 2 millimeters.

12. The dressing of claim 7, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slots, each of the slots having a length less than 4 millimeters and a width less than 2 millimeters.

13. The dressing of claim 12, wherein the width is less than 1 millimeter.

14. The dressing of claim 12, wherein the length is less than 3 millimeters and the width is less than 1 millimeter.

15. The dressing of claim 12, wherein the width is at least 0.5 millimeters.

16. The dressing of claim 12, wherein the length is at least 2 millimeters.

17. The dressing of any preceding claim, wherein the fluid control layer comprises a hydrophilic film and a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophilic film.

18. The dressing of claim 17, wherein the hydrophilic film includes polyurethane.

19. The dressing of claim 17, wherein the hydrophilic film has a water contact angle of at least about 65 degrees to about 90 degrees.

20. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the fluid control layer includes a hydrophobic film laminated to a hydrophilic film.

21. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the fluid control layer includes a hydrophilic surface and a hydrophobic surface obtained via a plasma/corona method.

22. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise or consist essentially of elastomeric valves in the hydrophobic film, and the elastomeric valves are normally closed.

23. The dressing of claim 22, wherein the elastomeric valves are fenestrations.

24. The dressing of claim 22, wherein the elastomeric valves are slits.

25. The dressing of claim 22, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slits in the hydrophobic film, each of the slits having a length less than 4 millimeters.

26. The dressing of claim 25, wherein the length is less than 3 millimeters.

27. The dressing of one of claim 25 or claim 21, wherein the length is at least 2 millimeters.

28. The dressing of claim 7, wherein the fluid restrictions are coextensive with the hydrophobic film.

29. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the fluid restrictions are coextensive with the manifold.

30. The dressing of claim 7, wherein the non-porous film and the hydrophobic film are laminated to the manifold.

31. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises foam.

32. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises polymer foam.

33. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises polyurethane ether foam.

34. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises open-cell foam.

35. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated foam.

36. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated polymer foam.

37. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated polyurethane ether foam.

38. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated foam having a free volume of at least 90%.

39. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold comprises porous foam having an average pore size in a range of 400-600 microns.

40. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold has a thickness less than 7 millimeters.

41. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold has a thickness in a range of 2 millimeters to 7 millimeters.

42. The dressing of claim 1, wherein the manifold is hydrophobic.

43. The dressing of claim 7, wherein the fluid restrictions are distributed across the hydrophobic film in a uniform pattern.

44. The dressing of any preceding claim, further comprising:

a layer of hydrophobic gel adhered to the hydrophobic film; and

a plurality of apertures in the hydrophobic gel.

45. The dressing of claim 7, further comprising:

a layer of hydrophobic gel adhered to the hydrophobic film; and

a plurality of apertures in the hydrophobic gel;

wherein substantially all of the plurality of apertures are

46. The dressing of claim 44, wherein the hydrophobic gel has a hardness of between about 5 Shore OO and about 80 Shore OO.

47. The dressing claim 44, wherein the hydrophobic gel is a silicone gel.

48. The dressing of claim 47, wherein the silicone gel has an area density less than 300 grams per square meter.

49. The dressing of claim 47, wherein the silicone gel comprises a bonded silicone.

50. A dressing for use with negative-pressure treatment, the dressing comprising:

a cover comprising a non-porous film;

a manifold adhered to the non-porous film; a hydrophobic film adhered to the manifold;

a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film adjacent to the manifold;

a silicone layer adjacent the hydrophobic film; and

a plurality of apertures in the silicone layer,

wherein the cover, the manifold, the hydrophobic film, and the silicone layer each have an exposed perimeter.

51. The dressing of claim 50, further comprising a fluid port coupled to the cover and fluidly coupled to the manifold through the cover.

52. The dressing of claim 50, further comprising an attachment device configured to seal the exposed perimeter of the cover, the manifold, the hydrophobic film, and the silicone layer.

53. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the plurality of apertures are at least partially aligned with the fluid restrictions.

54. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the hydrophobic film has a contact angle with water greater than 90 degrees.

55. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the hydrophobic film is a polyethylene film.

56. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slots, each of the slots having a length less than 4 millimeters.

57. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slots, each of the slots having a width less than 2 millimeters.

58. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slots, each of the slots having a length less than 4 millimeters and a width less than 2 millimeters.

59. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise or consist essentially of elastomeric valves in the hydrophobic film, and the elastomeric valves are normally closed.

60. The dressing of claim 59, wherein the elastomeric valves are fenestrations.

61. The dressing of claim 59, wherein the elastomeric valves are slits.

62. The dressing of claim 59, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slits in the hydrophobic film, each of the slits having a length less than 4 millimeters.

63. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the fluid restrictions are coextensive with the hydrophobic film.

64. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the fluid restrictions are coextensive with the manifold.

65. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the manifold comprises foam.

66. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the manifold comprises polymer foam.

67. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the manifold comprises polyurethane ether foam.

68. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the manifold comprises open-cell foam.

69. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated foam.

70. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated polymer foam.

71. The dressing of claim 50, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated polyurethane ether foam.

72. A dressing for use with negative-pressure treatment, the dressing comprising:

a cover comprising a non-porous film;

a manifold adhered to the non-porous film;

a tie layer adhered to the manifold;

a hydrophobic film adhered to the tie layer; and

a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film;

wherein the cover, the manifold, and the hydrophobic film each have an exposed

perimeter.

73. The dressing of claim 72, further comprising a fluid port coupled to the cover and fluidly coupled to the manifold through the cover.

74. The dressing of claim 72, further comprising an attachment device configured to seal the exposed perimeter of the manifold and the hydrophobic film.

75. The dressing of claim 72, wherein the tie layer comprises a polyurethane film and the hydrophobic film comprises a polyethylene film.

76. A dressing kit for use with negative-pressure treatment, the dressing kit comprising:

a cover comprising a non-porous film;

a manifold adhered to the non-porous film;

a tissue interface comprising a hydrophobic film adhered to the manifold;

a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film adjacent to the manifold;

a fluid port coupled to the cover and fluidly coupled to the manifold through the cover; wherein the manifold and the tissue interface each have an exposed edge; and a plurality of attachment devices configured to seal the exposed edge of the manifold and the tissue interface.

77. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the hydrophobic film has a contact angle with water greater than 90 degrees.

78. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the hydrophobic film is a polyethylene film.

79. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slots, each of the slots having a length less than 4 millimeters.

80. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the fluid restrictions comprise a plurality of slots, each of the slots having a width less than 2 millimeters.

81. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the manifold comprises foam.

82. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the manifold comprises polymer foam.

83. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the manifold comprises polyurethane ether foam.

84. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the manifold comprises open-cell foam.

85. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated foam.

86. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated polymer foam.

87. The dressing kit of claim 76, wherein the manifold comprises reticulated polyurethane ether foam.

88. A method for treating a tissue site with negative pressure, the method comprising:

providing a dressing, the dressing comprising:

a cover comprising a non-porous film,

a manifold adhered to the non-porous film,

a tissue interface comprising a hydrophobic film adhered to the manifold, a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film adjacent to the manifold, a fluid port coupled to the cover and fluidly coupled to the manifold through the cover,

wherein the manifold and the tissue interface each have an exposed edge;

sizing the dressing to the tissue site;

applying the tissue interface to the tissue site;

overlapping one or more attachment devices to the cover and an attachment surface adjacent to the tissue site so that the exposed edge of the manifold and the tissue interface are sealed;

fluidly coupling the fluid port to a negative-pressure source; and

applying negative pressure from the negative-pressure source to the tissue site through the dressing.

89. The systems, apparatus, and methods substantially as described herein.

Description:
CUSTOMIZABLE COMPOSITE DRESSINGS FOR IMPROVED GRANULATION AND REDUCED MACERATION WITH NEGATIVE-PRESSURE TREATMENT

RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit, under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e), of the filing of U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/625,704, entitled "CUSTOMIZABLE COMPOSITE DRESSINGS FOR IMPROVED GRANULATION AND REDUCED MACERATION WITH NEGATIVE-PRESSURE TREATMENT," filed February 2, 2018; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/623,325, entitled "METHODS FOR MANUFACTURING AND ASSEMBLING DUAL MATERIAL TISSUE INTERFACE FOR NEGATIVE-PRESSURE THERAPY," filed January 29, 2018; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/616,244, entitled "COMPOSITE DRESSINGS FOR IMPROVED GRANULATION AND REDUCED MACERATION WITH NEGATIVE-PRESSURE TREATMENT," filed January 11, 2018; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/615,821, entitled "METHODS FOR MANUFACTURING AND ASSEMBLING DUAL MATERIAL TISSUE INTERFACE FOR NEGATIVE-PRESSURE THERAPY," filed January 10, 2018; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/613,494, entitled "PEEL AND PLACE DRESSING FOR THICK EXUDATE AND INSTILLATION," filed January 4, 2018; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/592,950, entitled "MULTI-LAYER WOUND FILLER FOR EXTENDED WEAR TIME," filed November 30, 2017; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/576,498, entitled "SYSTEMS, APPARATUSES, AND METHODS FOR NEGATIVE-PRESSURE TREATMENT WITH REDUCED TISSUE IN-GROWTH," filed October 24, 2017; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/565,754, entitled "COMPOSITE DRESSINGS FOR IMPROVED GRANULATION AND REDUCED MACERATION WITH NEGATIVE-PRESSURE TREATMENT," filed September 29, 2017; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/516,540, entitled "TISSUE CONTACT INTERFACE," filed June 7, 2017; U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/516,550, entitled "COMPOSITE DRESSINGS FOR IMPROVED GRANULATION AND REDUCED MACERATION WITH NEGATIVE- PRESSURE TREATMENT" filed June 7, 2017; and U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial number 62/516,566, entitled "COMPOSITE DRESSINGS FOR IMPROVED GRANULATION AND REDUCED MACERATION WITH NEGATIVE-PRESSURE TREATMENT" filed June 7, 2017, each of which is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The invention set forth in the appended claims relates generally to tissue treatment systems and more particularly, but without limitation, to dressings for tissue treatment and methods of using the dressings for tissue treatment.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Clinical studies and practice have shown that reducing pressure in proximity to a tissue site can augment and accelerate growth of new tissue at the tissue site. The applications of this phenomenon are numerous, but it has proven particularly advantageous for treating wounds. Regardless of the etiology of a wound, whether trauma, surgery, or another cause, proper care of the wound is important to the outcome. Treatment of wounds or other tissue with reduced pressure may be commonly referred to as "negative-pressure therapy," but is also known by other names, including "negative-pressure wound therapy," "reduced-pressure therapy," "vacuum therapy," "vacuum-assisted closure," and "topical negative-pressure," for example. Negative- pressure therapy may provide a number of benefits, including migration of epithelial and subcutaneous tissues, improved blood flow, and micro-deformation of tissue at a wound site. Together, these benefits can increase development of granulation tissue and reduce healing times.

[0004] There is also widespread acceptance that cleansing a tissue site can be highly beneficial for new tissue growth. For example, a wound or a cavity can be washed out with a liquid solution for therapeutic purposes. These practices are commonly referred to as "irrigation" and "lavage" respectively. "Instillation" is another practice that generally refers to a process of slowly introducing fluid to a tissue site and leaving the fluid for a prescribed period of time before removing the fluid. For example, instillation of topical treatment solutions over a wound bed can be combined with negative-pressure therapy to further promote wound healing by loosening soluble contaminants in a wound bed and removing infectious material. As a result, soluble bacterial burden can be decreased, contaminants removed, and the wound cleansed.

[0005] While the clinical benefits of negative-pressure therapy and/or instillation therapy are widely known, improvements to therapy systems, components, and processes may benefit healthcare providers and patients.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[0006] New and useful systems, apparatuses, and methods for treating tissue in a negative-pressure therapy environment are set forth in the appended claims. Illustrative embodiments are also provided to enable a person skilled in the art to make and use the claimed subject matter.

[0007] For example, in some embodiments, a dressing for treating tissue may be a composite of dressing layers, including a release film, a perforated polymer film, open-cell foam, and an adhesive drape. The polymer film may be a polyethylene, polyurethane, or ethyl methyl acrylate (EM A) in some embodiments. In some embodiments, the perforations may be slits or slots. For example, the perforations in the polymer film may be slots having nominal dimensions of about 3 millimeters by 0.5 millimeters. The open-cell foam may be reticulated foam in some examples, and may be relatively thin and hydrophobic to reduce the fluid hold capacity of the dressing. The foam may also be thin to reduce the dressing profile and increase flexibility, which can enable it to conform to wound beds and other tissue sites under negative pressure. The foam may be adhered to the polymer film in some embodiments. Suitable bonds between the foam and the polymer film may include pressure- sensitive adhesive (reactive and non- reactive types); hot melt adhesive (spray applied or deployed as a film, woven, or non-woven); hot press lamination; or flame lamination. The polymer film may also be co-extruded with a bonding layer in-situ, which may be formed from a hot melt adhesive, for example. Some dressings may also include a layer of low-tack adhesive, silicone, or other soft polymer layer having perforations. The perforation pattern of the polymer film can be aligned with the perforation pattern of at least a central area of the silicone. In some embodiments, the silicone may additionally include a pattern-coated acrylic, which can further facilitate fixation. For example, an acrylic adhesive can be applied about a peripheral area of the structure to increase bond strength in regions which are likely to be skin rather than a wound area. The dressing may have an exposed perimeter, and the dressing may be cut to a desired size before applying the dressing to a tissue. Drape strips or other adhesive strips may be used to seal edges of the dressing and fix the dressing to a patient's skin. [0008] More generally, some embodiments of a dressing may include a cover, a manifold adhered to the cover, and a fluid control layer adhered to the manifold. The cover, the manifold, and the fluid control layer each have an exposed perimeter. In some examples, the cover may comprise or consist essentially of a non-porous film, and the fluid control layer may comprise a hydrophobic film having a plurality of fluid restrictions adjacent to the manifold. The dressing may also include an attachment device configured to seal the exposed perimeter of each of the cover, the manifold, and the tissue interface.

[0009] In other embodiments, the dressing may include a cover comprising a non-porous film, a manifold adhered to the non-porous film, a hydrophobic film adhered to the manifold, a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film adjacent to the manifold, a silicone layer adjacent the hydrophobic film, and a plurality of apertures in the silicone layer. The cover, the manifold, the hydrophobic film, and the silicone layer each have an exposed perimeter. The dressing may also include an attachment device configured to seal the exposed perimeter of each of the cover, the manifold, the hydrophobic film, and the silicone layer.

[0010] In other examples, a dressing kit may comprise a cover comprising a non-porous film, a manifold adhered to the non-porous film, a tissue interface comprising a hydrophobic film adhered to the manifold, a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film adjacent to the manifold, and a fluid port coupled to the cover and fluidly coupled to the manifold through the cover. The manifold and the tissue interface may each have an exposed edge. The dressing kit may also comprise a plurality of attachment devices configured to seal the exposed edge of the manifold and the tissue interface.

[0011] In some embodiments, a method for treating a tissue site with negative pressure comprises providing a dressing. The dressing may comprise a cover comprising a non-porous film, a manifold adhered to the non-porous film, a tissue interface comprising a hydrophobic film adhered to the manifold, a plurality of fluid restrictions in the hydrophobic film adjacent to the manifold, and a fluid port coupled to the cover and fluidly coupled to the manifold through the cover. The manifold and the tissue interface may each have an exposed edge. The method may also include sizing the dressing to the tissue site, applying the tissue interface to the tissue site, overlapping one or more attachment devices to the cover and an attachment surface adjacent to the tissue site so that the exposed edge of the manifold and the tissue interface are sealed, fluidly coupling the fluid port to a negative-pressure source, and applying negative pressure from the negative-pressure source to the tissue site through the dressing.

[0012] Advantages of the claimed subject matter may include: (1) simplified application of a peel and place dressing for use on a tissue site where some dressing customization is required by a patient, (2) reduced need for user or caregiver to size the dressing to a tissue site, (3) increased formation of granulation tissue (i.e. faster healing) while reducing the opportunity for in-growth of tissue, (4) reduced maceration, (5) conformity to significant wound space variations, such that the dressing is appropriate for shallow, surface wounds and larger, deeper wounds, (6) use with existing negative-pressure therapy systems, (7) use with instillation therapy, and (8) improved application and securing of a dressing to a tissue site using adhesive strips with the adhesive facing the tissue. Other objectives, advantages, and a preferred mode of making and using the claimed subject matter may be understood best by reference to the accompanying drawings in conjunction with the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] Figure 1 is a functional block diagram of an example embodiment of a therapy system that can provide tissue treatment in accordance with this specification;

[0014] Figure 2 is an assembly view of an example of a dressing, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some example embodiments of the therapy system of Figure l ;

[0015] Figure 3 is a schematic view of an example configuration of fluid restrictions in a layer that may be associated with some embodiments of the dressing of Figure 2;

[0016] Figure 4 is a side view of an example of the dressing of Figure 2 that may be associated with some embodiments of the therapy system of Figure 1;

[0017] Figure 5 is an assembly view of an example of a dressing, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some example embodiments of the therapy system of Figure l ;

[0018] Figure 6 is a schematic view of an example configuration of apertures in a layer that may be associated with some embodiments of the dressing of Figure 5;

[0019] Figure 7 is a schematic view of the example layer of Figure 6 overlaid on the example layer of Figure 3;

[0020] Figure 8 is an assembly view of an example of a dressing, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some example embodiments of the therapy system of Figure l ;

[0021] Figure 9 is an assembly view of an example of a dressing, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some example embodiments of the therapy system of Figure 1; and

[0022] Figure 10 is a perspective view of an example of an attachment device that may be associated with some example embodiments of the dressing of Figures 2, 5, 8, and 9. DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

[0023] The following description of example embodiments provides information that enables a person skilled in the art to make and use the subject matter set forth in the appended claims, and may omit certain details already well-known in the art. The following detailed description is, therefore, to be taken as illustrative and not limiting.

[0024] The example embodiments may also be described herein with reference to spatial relationships between various elements or to the spatial orientation of various elements depicted in the attached drawings. In general, such relationships or orientation assume a frame of reference consistent with or relative to a patient in a position to receive treatment. However, as should be recognized by those skilled in the art, this frame of reference is merely a descriptive expedient rather than a strict prescription.

[0025] Figure 1 is a simplified functional block diagram of an example embodiment of a therapy system 100 that can provide negative-pressure therapy with instillation of topical treatment solutions to a tissue site in accordance with this specification.

[0026] The term "tissue site" in this context broadly refers to a wound, defect, or other treatment target located on or within tissue, including but not limited to, a surface wound, bone tissue, adipose tissue, muscle tissue, neural tissue, dermal tissue, vascular tissue, connective tissue, cartilage, tendons, or ligaments. The term "tissue site" may also refer to areas of any tissue that are not necessarily wounded or defective, but are instead areas in which it may be desirable to add or promote the growth of additional tissue. For example, negative pressure may be applied to a tissue site to grow additional tissue that may be harvested and transplanted. A surface wound, as used herein, is a wound on the surface of a body that is exposed to the outer surface of the body, such as an injury or damage to the epidermis, dermis, and/or subcutaneous layers. Surface wounds may include ulcers or closed incisions, for example. A surface wound, as used herein, does not include wounds within an intra-abdominal cavity. A wound may include chronic, acute, traumatic, subacute, and dehisced wounds, partial-thickness burns, ulcers (such as diabetic, pressure, or venous insufficiency ulcers), flaps, and grafts, for example.

[0027] The therapy system 100 may include a source or supply of negative pressure, such as a negative-pressure source 102, a dressing 104, a fluid container, such as a container 106, and a regulator or controller, such as a controller 108, for example. Additionally, the therapy system 100 may include sensors to measure operating parameters and provide feedback signals to the controller 108 indicative of the operating parameters. As illustrated in Figure 1, for example, the therapy system 100 may include a first sensor 110 and a second sensor 112 coupled to the controller 108. As illustrated in the example of Figure 1, the dressing 104 may comprise or consist essentially of one or more dressing layers, such as a tissue interface 114, a cover 116, or both in some embodiments.

[0028] The therapy system 100 may also include a source of instillation solution, such as saline, for example. For example, a solution source 118 may be fluidly coupled to the dressing 104, as illustrated in the example embodiment of Figure 1. The solution source 118 may be fluidly coupled to a positive-pressure source such as the positive-pressure source 120, a negative- pressure source such as the negative-pressure source 102, or both in some embodiments. A regulator, such as an instillation regulator 122, may also be fluidly coupled to the solution source 118 and the dressing 104 to ensure proper dosage of instillation solution to a tissue site. For example, the instillation regulator 122 may comprise a piston that can be pneumatically actuated by the negative-pressure source 102 to draw instillation solution from the solution source during a negative-pressure interval and to instill the solution to a dressing during a venting interval. Additionally or alternatively, the controller 108 may be coupled to the negative-pressure source 102, the positive-pressure source 120, or both, to control dosage of instillation solution to a tissue site. In some embodiments, the instillation regulator 122 may also be fluidly coupled to the negative-pressure source 102 through the dressing 104, as illustrated in the example of Figure 1.

[0029] Some components of the therapy system 100 may be housed within or used in conjunction with other components, such as sensors, processing units, alarm indicators, memory, databases, software, display devices, or user interfaces that further facilitate therapy. For example, in some embodiments, the negative-pressure source 102 may be combined with the solution source 118, the controller 108 and other components into a therapy unit.

[0030] In general, components of the therapy system 100 may be coupled directly or indirectly. For example, the negative-pressure source 102 may be directly coupled to the container 106, and may be indirectly coupled to the dressing 104 through the container 106. Coupling may include fluid, mechanical, thermal, electrical, or chemical coupling (such as a chemical bond), or some combination of coupling in some contexts. For example, the negative- pressure source 102 may be electrically coupled to the controller 108. The negative-pressure source maybe fluidly coupled to one or more distribution components, which provide a fluid path to a tissue site. In some embodiments, components may also be coupled by virtue of physical proximity, being integral to a single structure, or being formed from the same piece of material. For example, the tissue interface 114 and the cover 116 may be discrete layers disposed adjacent to each other, and may be joined together in some embodiments.

[0031] A distribution component is preferably detachable, and may be disposable, reusable, or recyclable. The dressing 104 and the container 106 are illustrative of distribution components. A fluid conductor is another illustrative example of a distribution component. A "fluid conductor," in this context, broadly includes a tube, pipe, hose, conduit, or other structure with one or more lumina or open pathways adapted to convey a fluid between two ends. Typically, a tube is an elongated, cylindrical structure with some flexibility, but the geometry and rigidity may vary. Moreover, some fluid conductors may be molded into or otherwise integrally combined with other components. Distribution components may also include or comprise interfaces or fluid ports to facilitate coupling and de-coupling other components, including sensors and data communication devices. In some embodiments, for example, a dressing interface may facilitate coupling a fluid conductor to the dressing 104. For example, such a dressing interface may be a SENSAT.R.A.C.™ Pad available from KCI of San Antonio, Texas.

[0032] A negative-pressure supply, such as the negative-pressure source 102, may be a reservoir of air at a negative pressure, or may be a manual or electrically-powered device, such as a vacuum pump, a suction pump, a wall suction port available at many healthcare facilities, or a micro-pump, for example. "Negative pressure" generally refers to a pressure less than a local ambient pressure, such as the ambient pressure in a local environment external to a sealed therapeutic environment. In many cases, the local ambient pressure may also be the atmospheric pressure at which a tissue site is located. Alternatively, the pressure may be less than a hydrostatic pressure associated with tissue at the tissue site. Unless otherwise indicated, values of pressure stated herein are gauge pressures. References to increases in negative pressure typically refer to a decrease in absolute pressure, while decreases in negative pressure typically refer to an increase in absolute pressure. While the amount and nature of negative pressure applied to a tissue site may vary according to therapeutic requirements, the pressure is generally a low vacuum, also commonly referred to as a rough vacuum, between -5 mm Hg (-667 Pa) and - 500 mm Hg (-66.7 kPa). Common therapeutic ranges are between -50 mm Hg (-9.9 kPa) and - 300 mm Hg (-39.9 kPa).

[0033] The container 106 is representative of a container, canister, pouch, or other storage component, which can be used to manage exudates and other fluids withdrawn from a tissue site. In many environments, a rigid container may be preferred or required for collecting, storing, and disposing of fluids. In other environments, fluids may be properly disposed of without rigid container storage, and a re-usable container could reduce waste and costs associated with negative-pressure therapy.

[0034] A controller, such as the controller 108, may be a microprocessor or computer programmed to operate one or more components of the therapy system 100, such as the negative- pressure source 102. In some embodiments, for example, the controller 108 may be a microcontroller, which generally comprises an integrated circuit containing a processor core and a memory programmed to directly or indirectly control one or more operating parameters of the therapy system 100. Operating parameters may include the power applied to the negative- pressure source 102, the pressure generated by the negative-pressure source 102, or the pressure distributed to the tissue interface 114, for example. The controller 108 is also preferably configured to receive one or more input signals, such as a feedback signal, and programmed to modify one or more operating parameters based on the input signals.

[0035] Sensors, such as the first sensor 110 and the second sensor 112, are generally known in the art as any apparatus operable to detect or measure a physical phenomenon or property, and generally provide a signal indicative of the phenomenon or property that is detected or measured. For example, the first sensor 110 and the second sensor 112 may be configured to measure one or more operating parameters of the therapy system 100. In some embodiments, the first sensor 110 may be a transducer configured to measure pressure in a pneumatic pathway and convert the measurement to a signal indicative of the pressure measured. In some embodiments, for example, the first sensor 110 may be a piezo-resistive strain gauge. The second sensor 112 may optionally measure operating parameters of the negative-pressure source 102, such as the voltage or current, in some embodiments. Preferably, the signals from the first sensor 110 and the second sensor 112 are suitable as an input signal to the controller 108, but some signal conditioning may be appropriate in some embodiments. For example, the signal may need to be filtered or amplified before it can be processed by the controller 108. Typically, the signal is an electrical signal, but may be represented in other forms, such as an optical signal.

[0036] The tissue interface 114 can be generally adapted to contact a tissue site. The tissue interface 114 may be partially or fully in contact with the tissue site. If the tissue site is a wound, for example, the tissue interface 114 may partially or completely fill the wound, or may be placed over the wound. The tissue interface 114 may take many forms and have more than one layer in some embodiments. The tissue interface 114 may also have many sizes, shapes, or thicknesses depending on a variety of factors, such as the type of treatment being implemented or the nature and size of a tissue site. For example, the size and shape of the tissue interface 114 may be adapted to the contours of deep and irregular shaped tissue sites.

[0037] In some embodiments, the cover 116 may provide a bacterial barrier and protection from physical trauma. The cover 116 may also be constructed from a material that can reduce evaporative losses and provide a fluid seal between two components or two environments, such as between a therapeutic environment and a local external environment. The cover 116 may comprise or consist of, for example, an elastomeric film or membrane that can provide a seal adequate to maintain a negative pressure at a tissue site for a given negative- pressure source. The cover 116 may have a high moisture-vapor transmission rate (MVTR) in some applications. For example, the MVTR may be at least 250 grams per square meter per twenty-four hours in some embodiments, measured using an upright cup technique according to ASTM E96/E96M Upright Cup Method at 38°C and 10% relative humidity (RH). In some embodiments, an MVTR up to 5,000 grams per square meter per twenty-four hours may provide may provide effective breathability and mechanical properties.

[0038] In some example embodiments, the cover 116 may be a polymer drape, such as a polyurethane film, that is permeable to water vapor but impermeable to liquid. Such drapes typically have a thickness in the range of 25-50 microns. For permeable materials, the permeability generally should be low enough that a desired negative pressure may be maintained. For example, the cover 116 may comprise, for example, one or more of the following materials: polyurethane (PU), such as hydrophilic polyurethane; cellulosics; hydrophilic polyamides; polyvinyl alcohol; polyvinyl pyrrolidone; hydrophilic acrylics; silicones, such as hydrophilic silicone elastomers; natural rubbers; polyisoprene; styrene butadiene rubber; chloroprene rubber; polybutadiene; nitrile rubber; butyl rubber; ethylene propylene rubber; ethylene propylene diene monomer; chloro sulfonated polyethylene; polysulfide rubber; ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA); co- polyester; and polyether block polymide copolymers. Such materials are commercially available as, for example, Tegaderm® drape, commercially available from 3M Company, Minneapolis Minnesota; polyurethane (PU) drape, commercially available from Avery Dennison Corporation, Pasadena, California; polyether block polyamide copolymer (PEBAX), for example, from Arkema S.A., Colombes, France; and Inspire 2301 and Inpsire 2327 polyurethane films, commercially available from Coveris Advanced Coatings, Wrexham, United Kingdom. In some embodiments, the cover 116 may comprise INSPIRE 2301 having an MVTR (upright cup technique) of 2600 g/m /24 hours and a thickness of about 30 microns.

[0039] An attachment device may be used to attach the cover 116 to an attachment surface, such as undamaged epidermis, a gasket, or another cover. The attachment device may take many forms. For example, an attachment device may be a medically-acceptable, pressure- sensitive adhesive configured to bond the cover 116 to epidermis around a tissue site, such as a surface wound. In some embodiments, for example, the adhesive may be an acrylic adhesive, which may have a coating weight of about 25-65 grams per square meter (g.s.m.). Thicker adhesives, or combinations of adhesives, may be applied in some embodiments to improve the seal and reduce leaks. Other example embodiments of an attachment device may include a double-sided tape, paste, hydrocolloid, hydrogel, silicone gel, or organogel.

[0040] The solution source 118 may also be representative of a container, canister, pouch, bag, or other storage component, which can provide a solution for instillation therapy. Compositions of solutions may vary according to a prescribed therapy, but examples of solutions that may be suitable for some prescriptions include hypochlorite-based solutions, silver nitrate (0.5%), sulfur-based solutions, biguanides, cationic solutions, and isotonic solutions.

[0041] The fluid mechanics of using a negative-pressure source to reduce pressure in another component or location, such as within a sealed therapeutic environment, can be mathematically complex. However, the basic principles of fluid mechanics applicable to negative-pressure therapy and instillation are generally well-known to those skilled in the art, and the process of reducing pressure may be described illustratively herein as "delivering," "distributing," or "generating" negative pressure, for example.

[0042] In general, exudates and other fluids flow toward lower pressure along a fluid path. Thus, the term "downstream" typically implies something in a fluid path relatively closer to a source of negative pressure or further away from a source of positive pressure. Conversely, the term "upstream" implies something relatively further away from a source of negative pressure or closer to a source of positive pressure. Similarly, it may be convenient to describe certain features in terms of fluid "inlet" or "outlet" in such a frame of reference. This orientation is generally presumed for purposes of describing various features and components herein. However, the fluid path may also be reversed in some applications (such as by substituting a positive-pressure source for a negative-pressure source) and this descriptive convention should not be construed as a limiting convention.

[0043] Figure 2 is an assembly view of an example of the dressing 104 of Figure 1, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some embodiments in which the tissue interface 114 comprises more than one layer. In the example of Figure 2, the tissue interface comprises a first layer 205 and a second layer 210. In some embodiments, the first layer 205 may be disposed adjacent to the second layer 210. For example, the first layer 205 and the second layer 210 may be stacked so that the first layer 205 is in contact with the second layer 210. The first layer 205 may also be heat-bonded or adhered to the second layer 210 in some embodiments.

[0044] The first layer 205 generally comprises or consists essentially of a manifold or a manifold layer, which provides a means for collecting or distributing fluid across the tissue interface 114 under pressure. For example, the first layer 205 may be adapted to receive negative pressure from a source and distribute negative pressure through multiple apertures across the tissue interface 114, which may have the effect of collecting fluid from across a tissue site and drawing the fluid toward the source. In some embodiments, the fluid path may be reversed or a secondary fluid path may be provided to facilitate delivering fluid, such as from a source of instillation solution, across the tissue interface 114. [0045] In some illustrative embodiments, the pathways of the first layer 205 may be interconnected to improve distribution or collection of fluids. In some illustrative embodiments, the first layer 205 may comprise or consist essentially of a porous material having interconnected fluid pathways. For example, open-cell foam, porous tissue collections, and other porous material such as gauze or felted mat generally include pores, edges, and/or walls adapted to form interconnected fluid channels. Other suitable materials may include a 3D textile (Baltex, Muller, Heathcoates), non-woven (Libeltex, Freudenberg), a 3D polymeric structure (molded polymers, embossed and formed films, and fusion bonded films [Supracore]), and mesh, for example. Liquids, gels, and other foams may also include or be cured to include apertures and fluid pathways. In some embodiments, the first layer 205 may additionally or alternatively comprise projections that form interconnected fluid pathways. For example, the first layer 205 may be molded to provide surface projections that define interconnected fluid pathways. Any or all of the surfaces of the first layer 205 may have an uneven, coarse, or jagged profile

[0046] In some embodiments, the first layer 205 may comprise or consist essentially of reticulated foam having pore sizes and free volume that may vary according to needs of a prescribed therapy. For example, reticulated foam having a free volume of at least 90% may be suitable for many therapy applications, and foam having an average pore size in a range of 400- 600 microns may be particularly suitable for some types of therapy. The tensile strength of the first layer 205 may also vary according to needs of a prescribed therapy. For example, the tensile strength of the first layer 205 may be increased for instillation of topical treatment solutions. The 25% compression load deflection of the first layer 205 may be at least 0.35 pounds per square inch, and the 65% compression load deflection may be at least 0.43 pounds per square inch. In some embodiments, the tensile strength of the first layer 205 may be at least 10 pounds per square inch. The first layer 205 may have a tear strength of at least 2.5 pounds per inch. In some embodiments, the first layer 205 may be foam comprised of polyols such as polyester or polyether, isocyanate such as toluene diisocyanate, and polymerization modifiers such as amines and tin compounds. In one non-limiting example, the first layer 205 may be a reticulated polyurethane foam such as used in GRANUFOAM™ dressing or V.A.C. VERAFLO™ dressing, both available from KCI of San Antonio, Texas. [0047] The first layer 205 generally has a first planar surface and a second planar surface opposite the first planar surface. The thickness of the first layer 205 between the first planar surface and the second planar surface may also vary according to needs of a prescribed therapy. For example, the thickness of the first layer 205 may be decreased to relieve stress on other layers and to reduce tension on peripheral tissue. The thickness of the first layer 205 can also affect the conformability of the first layer 205. In some embodiments, a thickness in a range of about 5 millimeters to 10 millimeters may be suitable.

[0048] The second layer 210 may comprise or consist essentially of a means for controlling or managing fluid flow. In some embodiments, the second layer 210 may comprise or consist essentially of a liquid-impermeable, elastomeric material. For example, the second layer 210 may comprise or consist essentially of a polymer film. The second layer 210 may also have a smooth or matte surface texture in some embodiments. A glossy or shiny finish better or equal to a grade B3 according to the SPI (Society of the Plastics Industry) standards may be particularly advantageous for some applications. In some embodiments, variations in surface height may be limited to acceptable tolerances. For example, the surface of the second layer may have a substantially flat surface, with height variations limited to 0.2 millimeters over a centimeter.

[0049] In some embodiments, the second layer 210 may be hydrophobic. For example, in some embodiments, the contact angle of the second layer 210 may be in a range of at least 90 degrees to about 120 degrees, or in a range of at least 120 degrees to 150 degrees. Water contact angles can be measured using any standard apparatus. Although manual goniometers can be used to visually approximate contact angles, contact angle measuring instruments can often include an integrated system involving a level stage, liquid dropper such as a syringe, camera, and software designed to calculate contact angles more accurately and precisely, among other things. Non-limiting examples of such integrated systems may include the FTA125, FTA200, FTA2000, and FTA4000 systems, all commercially available from First Ten Angstroms, Inc., of Portsmouth, VA, and the DTA25, DTA30, and DTAIOO systems, all commercially available from Kruss GmbH of Hamburg, Germany. Unless otherwise specified, water contact angles herein are measured using deionized and distilled water on a level sample surface for a sessile drop added from a height of no more than 5 cm in air at 20-25°C and 20-50% relative humidity. Contact angles reported herein represent averages of 5-9 measured values, discarding both the highest and lowest measured values. The hydrophobicity of the second layer 210 may be further enhanced with a hydrophobic coating of other materials, such as silicones and fluorocarbons, either as coated from a liquid, or plasma coated.

[0050] In some embodiments, the second layer 210 may be formed of a hydrophilic polymer film. The hydrophilic polymer film may have a water contact angle of at least about 65 degrees to about 90 degrees. The hydrophilic polymer film may include polyurethane. In some embodiments, the second layer 210 may have a first surface that faces a tissue site when the dressing 104 faces a tissue site, and a second surface opposite the first surface. The first surface may be a hydrophilic surface and the second surface may be a hydrophobic surface. The hydrophobic surface may discourage fluid from moving back towards a tissue site once the fluid has moved into the first layer 205. The second layer 210 having a hydrophilic surface and a hydrophobic surface may be obtained through lamination of a hydrophobic film to a hydrophilic film, or through plasma/corona surface treatments of a single film type.

[0051] The second layer 210 may also be suitable for welding to other layers, including the first layer 205. For example, the second layer 210 may be adapted for welding to polyurethane foams using heat, radio frequency (RF) welding, or other methods to generate heat such as ultrasonic welding. RF welding may be particularly suitable for more polar materials, such as polyurethane, polyamides, polyesters and acrylates. Sacrificial polar interfaces may be used to facilitate RF welding of less polar film materials, such as polyethylene.

[0052] The area density of the second layer 210 may vary according to a prescribed therapy or application. In some embodiments, an area density of less than 40 grams per square meter may be suitable, and an area density of about 20-30 grams per square meter may be particularly advantageous for some applications.

[0053] In some embodiments, for example, the second layer 210 may comprise or consist essentially of a hydrophobic polymer, such as a polyethylene film. The simple and inert structure of polyethylene can provide a surface that interacts little, if any, with biological tissues and fluids, providing a surface that may encourage the free flow of liquids and low adherence, which can be particularly advantageous for many applications. Other suitable polymeric films include polyurethanes, acrylics, polyolefin (such as cyclic olefin copolymers), polyacetates, polyamides, polyesters, copolyesters, PEBAX block copolymers, thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic vulcanizates, polyethers, polyvinyl alcohols, polypropylene, polymethylpentene, polycarbonate, styreneics, silicones, fluoropolymers, and acetates. A thickness between 20 microns and 100 microns may be suitable for many applications. Films may be clear, colored, or printed. More polar films suitable for laminating to a polyethylene film include polyamide, co- polyesters, ionomers, and acrylics. To aid in the bond between a polyethylene and polar film, tie layers may be used, such as ethylene vinyl acetate, or modified polyurethanes. An ethyl methyl acrylate (EMA) film may also have suitable hydrophobic and welding properties for some configurations.

[0054] As illustrated in the example of Figure 2, the second layer 210 may have one or more fluid restrictions 220, which can be distributed uniformly or randomly across the second layer 210. The fluid restrictions 220 may be bi-directional and pressure-responsive. For example, each of the fluid restrictions 220 generally may comprise or consist essentially of an elastic passage that is normally unstrained to substantially reduce liquid flow, and can expand or open in response to a pressure gradient. In some embodiments, the fluid restrictions 220 may comprise or consist essentially of perforations in the second layer 210. Perforations may be formed by removing material from the second layer 210. For example, perforations may be formed by cutting through the second layer 210, which may also deform the edges of the perforations in some embodiments. In the absence of a pressure gradient across the perforations, the passages may be sufficiently small to form a seal or fluid restriction, which can substantially reduce or prevent liquid flow. Additionally or alternatively, one or more of the fluid restrictions 220 may be an elastomeric valve that is normally closed when unstrained to substantially prevent liquid flow, and can open in response to a pressure gradient. A fenestration in the second layer 210 may be a suitable valve for some applications. Fenestrations may also be formed by removing material from the second layer 210, but the amount of material removed and the resulting dimensions of the fenestrations may be up to an order of magnitude less than perforations, and may not deform the edges.

[0055] For example, some embodiments of the fluid restrictions 220 may comprise or consist essentially of one or more slits, slots or combinations of slits and slots in the second layer 210. In some examples, the fluid restrictions 220 may comprise or consist of linear slots having a length less than 4 millimeters and a width less than 1 millimeter. The length may be at least 2 millimeters, and the width may be at least 0.4 millimeters in some embodiments. A length of about 3 millimeters and a width of about 0.8 millimeters may be particularly suitable for many applications, and a tolerance of about 0.1 millimeter may also be acceptable. Such dimensions and tolerances may be achieved with a laser cutter, for example. Slots of such configurations may function as imperfect valves that substantially reduce liquid flow in a normally closed or resting state. For example, such slots may form a flow restriction without being completely closed or sealed. The slots can expand or open wider in response to a pressure gradient to allow increased liquid flow.

[0056] In the example of Figure 2, the dressing 104 may further include an attachment device, such as an adhesive 240. The adhesive 240 may be, for example, a medically-acceptable, pressure- sensitive adhesive that extends about a periphery, a portion, or the entire cover 116. In some embodiments, for example, the adhesive 240 may be an acrylic adhesive having a coating weight between 25-65 grams per square meter (g.s.m.). Thicker adhesives, or combinations of adhesives, may be applied in some embodiments to improve the seal and reduce leaks. In some embodiments, such a layer of the adhesive 240 may be continuous or discontinuous. Discontinuities in the adhesive 240 may be provided by apertures or holes (not shown) in the adhesive 240. The apertures or holes in the adhesive 240 may be formed after application of the adhesive 240 or by coating the adhesive 240 in patterns on a carrier layer, such as, for example, a side of the cover 116. Apertures or holes in the adhesive 240 may also be sized to enhance the MVTR of the dressing 104 in some example embodiments.

[0057] As illustrated in the example of Figure 2, in some embodiments, the dressing 104 may include a release liner 245 to protect the adhesive 240 prior to use. The release liner 245 may also provide stiffness to assist with, for example, deployment of the dressing 104. The release liner 245 may be, for example, a casting paper, a film, or polyethylene. Further, in some embodiments, the release liner 245 may be a polyester material such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), or similar polar semi-crystalline polymer. The use of a polar semi- crystalline polymer for the release liner 245 may substantially preclude wrinkling or other deformation of the dressing 104. For example, the polar semi-crystalline polymer may be highly orientated and resistant to softening, swelling, or other deformation that may occur when brought into contact with components of the dressing 104, or when subjected to temperature or environmental variations, or sterilization. Further, a release agent may be disposed on a side of the release liner 245 that is configured to contact the second layer 210. For example, the release agent may be a silicone coating and may have a release factor suitable to facilitate removal of the release liner 245 by hand and without damaging or deforming the dressing 104. In some embodiments, the release agent may be a fluorocarbon or a fluorosilicone, for example. In other embodiments, the release liner 245 may be uncoated or otherwise used without a release agent.

[0058] Figure 2 also illustrates one example of a fluid conductor 250 and a dressing interface 255. As shown in the example of Figure 2, the fluid conductor 250 may be a flexible tube, which can be fluidly coupled on one end to the dressing interface 255. The dressing interface 255 may be an elbow connector, as shown in the example of Figure 2, which can be placed over an aperture 260 in the cover 116 to provide a fluid path between the fluid conductor 250 and the tissue interface 114.

[0059] Figure 3 is a schematic view of an example of the second layer 210, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some embodiments. As illustrated in the example of Figure 3, the fluid restrictions 220 may each consist essentially of one or more linear slots having a length of about 3 millimeters. Figure 3 additionally illustrates an example of a uniform distribution pattern of the fluid restrictions 220. In Figure 3, the fluid restrictions 220 are substantially coextensive with the second layer 210, and are distributed across the second layer 210 in a grid of parallel rows and columns, in which the slots are also mutually parallel to each other. In some embodiments, the rows may be spaced about 3 millimeters on center, and the fluid restrictions 220 within each of the rows may be spaced about 3 millimeters on center as illustrated in the example of Figure 3. The fluid restrictions 220 in adjacent rows may be aligned or offset. For example, adjacent rows may be offset, as illustrated in Figure 3, so that the fluid restrictions 220 are aligned in alternating rows and separated by about 6 millimeters. The spacing of the fluid restrictions 220 may vary in some embodiments to increase the density of the fluid restrictions 220 according to therapeutic requirements.

[0060] Figure 4 is a side view of an example of the dressing of Figure 2 that may be associated with some embodiments of the therapy system of Figure 1. As shown in Figure 4, the dressing 104 has an exposed perimeter 400 (exposed edges). More particularly, in the example of Figure 4 the first layer 205, the cover 1116, and the second layer 210 each have an exposed perimeter, and there is no seam, weld, or seal along the exposed perimeter 400.

[0061] One or more of the components of the dressing 104 may additionally be treated with an antimicrobial agent in some embodiments. For example, the first layer 205 may be a foam, mesh, or non-woven coated with an antimicrobial agent. In some embodiments, the first layer may comprise antimicrobial elements, such as fibers coated with an antimicrobial agent. Additionally or alternatively, some embodiments of the second layer 210 may be a polymer coated or mixed with an antimicrobial agent. In other examples, the fluid conductor 250 may additionally or alternatively be treated with one or more antimicrobial agents. Suitable antimicrobial agents may include, for example, metallic silver, PHMB, iodine or its complexes and mixes such as povidone iodine, copper metal compounds, chlorhexidine, or some combination of these materials.

[0062] Additionally or alternatively, one or more of the components may be coated with a mixture that may include citric acid and collagen, which can reduce bio-films and infections. For example, the first layer 205 may be foam coated with such a mixture.

[0063] Individual components of the dressing 104 may be bonded or otherwise secured to one another with a solvent or non-solvent adhesive, or with thermal welding, for example, without adversely affecting fluid management. For example, the cover 116 may be laminated to the first layer 205, and the second layer 210 may be laminated to the first layer 205 opposite the cover 116 in some embodiments. In some embodiments, the second layer 210 may be a polyurethane film that is heat-bonded to the first layer 205, which may be polyurethane foam.

[0064] The cover 116, the first layer 205, and the second layer 210, or various combinations may be assembled before application or in situ. The second layer 210 may provide a smooth surface opposite the first layer 205. In some embodiments, one or more layers of the tissue interface 114 may coextensive. For example, the second layer 210 may be cut flush with the edge of the first layer 205, exposing the edge of the first layer 205, as illustrated in the embodiment of Figure 2. In other embodiments, the second layer 210 may overlap the edge of the first layer 205. In some embodiments, the dressing 104 may be provided as a single, composite dressing. For example, the second layer 210 may be coupled to the cover 116 to enclose the first layer 205, wherein the second layer 210 is configured to face a tissue site. [0065] In use, the release liner 245 (if included) may be removed to expose the second layer 210, which may be placed within, over, on, or otherwise proximate to a tissue site, particularly a surface tissue site and adjacent epidermis. The second layer 210 may be interposed between the first layer 205 and the tissue site and adjacent epidermis, which can substantially reduce or eliminate adverse interaction with the first layer 205. For example, the second layer 210 may be placed over a surface wound (including edges of the wound) and undamaged epidermis to prevent direct contact with the first layer 205. Treatment of a surface wound or placement of the dressing 104 on a surface wound includes placing the dressing 104 immediately adjacent to the surface of the body or extending over at least a portion of the surface of the body. Treatment of a surface wound does not include placing the dressing 104 wholly within the body or wholly under the surface of the body, such as placing a dressing within an abdominal cavity. The cover 116 may be sealed to an attachment surface, such as epidermis peripheral to a tissue site, to provide an effective seal around the first layer 205 and the second layer 210. For example, a suitable seal for some applications may limit flow to less than about 950 cc/minute.

[0066] The geometry and dimensions of the tissue interface 114, the cover 116, or both may vary to suit a particular application or anatomy. For example, the geometry or dimensions of the tissue interface 114 and the cover 116 may be adapted to provide an effective and reliable seal against challenging anatomical surfaces, such as an elbow or heel, at and around a tissue site. Additionally or alternatively, the dimensions may be modified to increase the surface area for the second layer 210 to enhance the movement and proliferation of epithelial cells at a tissue site and reduce the likelihood of granulation tissue in-growth.

[0067] Thus, the dressing 104 in the example of Figure 2 can provide a sealed therapeutic environment proximate to a tissue site, substantially isolated from the external environment, and the negative-pressure source 102 can reduce the pressure in the sealed therapeutic environment. Negative pressure in the sealed environment may compress the first layer 205 into the second layer 210, which can deform the surface of the second layer 210 to provide an uneven, coarse, or jagged profile that can induce macrostrain and micro-strain in the tissue site in some embodiments. Negative pressure applied through the tissue interface 114 can also create a negative pressure differential across the fluid restrictions 220 in the second layer 210, which can open the fluid restrictions 220 to allow exudate and other liquid movement through the fluid restrictions 220 into the first layer 205 and the container 106. For example, in some embodiments in which the fluid restrictions 220 may comprise perforations through the second layer 210, a pressure gradient across the perforations can strain the adjacent material of the second layer 210 and increase the dimensions of the perforations to allow liquid movement through them, similar to the operation of a duckbill valve.

[0068] In some embodiments, the first layer 205 may be hydrophobic to minimize retention or storage of liquid in the dressing 104. In other embodiments, the first layer 205 may be hydrophilic. In an example in which the first layer 205 may be hydrophilic, the first layer 205 may also wick fluid away from a tissue site, while continuing to distribute negative pressure to the tissue site. The wicking properties of the first layer 205 may draw fluid away from a tissue site by capillary flow or other wicking mechanisms, for example. Polyvinyl alcohol, open-cell foam such as V.A.C. WHITEFOAM™ dressing available from KCI of San Antonio, Texas is an example of a hydrophilic foam that may be suitable for some examples of the first layer 205. Other hydrophilic foams may include those made from polyether. Other foams that may exhibit hydrophilic characteristics include hydrophobic foams that have been treated or coated to provide hydrophilicity.

[0069] If the negative-pressure source 102 is removed or turned-off, the pressure differential across the fluid restrictions 220 can dissipate, allowing the fluid restrictions 220 to return to an unstrained or resting state and prevent or reduce the return rate of exudate or other liquid moving to the tissue site through the second layer 210.

[0070] In some applications, a filler may also be disposed between a tissue site and the second layer 210. For example, if the tissue site is a surface wound, a wound filler may be applied interior to the periwound, and the second layer 210 may be disposed over the periwound and the wound filler. In some embodiments, the filler may be a manifold, such as an open-cell foam. The filler may comprise or consist essentially of the same material as the first layer 205 in some embodiments.

[0071] Additionally or alternatively, the tissue interface 114 may be formed into strips suitable for use as bridges or to fill tunnel wounds, for example. Strips having a width of about 5 millimeters to 30 millimeters may be suitable for some embodiments. [0072] Additionally or alternatively, the second layer 210 may comprise reinforcing fibers to increase its tensile strength, which may be advantageous for use in tunnel wounds.

[0073] Additionally or alternatively, instillation solution or other fluid may be distributed to the dressing 104, which can increase the pressure in the tissue interface 114. The increased pressure in the tissue interface 114 can create a positive pressure differential across the fluid restrictions 220 in the second layer 210, which can open or expand the fluid restrictions 220 from their resting state to allow the instillation solution or other fluid to be distributed to the tissue site.

[0074] Figure 5 is an assembly view of another example of the dressing 104 of Figure 1, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some embodiments in which the tissue interface 114 may comprise additional layers. In the example of Figure 5, the tissue interface 114 comprises a third layer 505 in addition to the second layer 210. In some embodiments, the third layer 505 may be adjacent to the second layer 210 opposite the first layer 205. The third layer 505 may also be bonded to the second layer 210 in some embodiments.

[0075] The third layer 505 may comprise or consist essentially of a sealing layer formed from a soft, pliable material, such as a tacky gel, suitable for providing a fluid seal with a tissue site, and may have a substantially flat surface. For example, the third layer 505 may comprise, without limitation, a silicone gel, a soft silicone, hydrocolloid, hydrogel, polyurethane gel, polyolefin gel, hydrogenated styrenic copolymer gel, a foamed gel, a soft closed cell foam such as polyurethanes and polyolefins coated with an adhesive, polyurethane, polyolefin, or hydrogenated styrenic copolymers. The third layer 505 may include an adhesive surface on an underside and a patterned coating of acrylic on a top side. The patterned coating of acrylic may be applied about a peripheral area to allow higher bonding in regions that are likely to be in contact with skin rather than the wound area. In other embodiments, the third layer 505 may comprise a low-tack adhesive layer instead of silicone. In some embodiments, the third layer 505 may have a thickness between about 200 microns (μιη) and about 1000 microns (μιη). In some embodiments, the third layer 505 may have a hardness between about 5 Shore OO and about 80 Shore OO. Further, the third layer 505 may be comprised of hydrophobic or hydrophilic materials. [0076] In some embodiments, the third layer 505 may be a hydrophobic-coated material. For example, the third layer 505 may be formed by coating a spaced material, such as, for example, woven, nonwoven, molded, or extruded mesh with a hydrophobic material. The hydrophobic material for the coating may be a soft silicone, for example.

[0077] The third layer 505 may have corners 525 and edges 515. The third layer 505 may include apertures 520. The apertures 520 may be formed by cutting or by application of local RF or ultrasonic energy, for example, or by other suitable techniques for forming an opening. The apertures 520 may have a uniform distribution pattern, or may be randomly distributed on the third layer 505. The apertures 520 in the third layer 505 may have many shapes, including circles, squares, stars, ovals, polygons, slits, complex curves, rectilinear shapes, triangles, for example, or may have some combination of such shapes.

[0078] Each of the apertures 520 may have uniform or similar geometric properties. For example, in some embodiments, each of the apertures 520 may be circular apertures, having substantially the same diameter. In some embodiments, the diameter of each of the apertures 520 may be between about 1 millimeter and about 50 millimeters. In other embodiments, the diameter of each of the apertures 520 may be between about 1 millimeter and about 20 millimeters.

[0079] In other embodiments, geometric properties of the apertures 520 may vary. For example, the diameter of the apertures 520 may vary depending on the position of the apertures 520 in the third layer 505. The apertures 520 may be spaced substantially equidistant over the third layer 505. Alternatively, the spacing of the apertures 520 may be irregular.

[0080] As illustrated in the example of Figure 5, in some embodiments, the release liner 245 may be attached to or positioned adjacent to the third layer 505 to protect the adhesive 240 prior to use. In some embodiments, the release liner 245 may have a surface texture that may be imprinted on an adjacent layer, such as the third layer 505. Further, a release agent may be disposed on a side of the release liner 245 that is configured to contact the third layer 505.

[0081] Figure 6 is a schematic view of an example configuration of the apertures 520, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some embodiments of the third layer 505. In some embodiments, the apertures 520 illustrated in Figure 6 may be associated only with an interior portion of the third layer 505. In the example of Figure 6, the apertures 520 are generally circular and have a diameter of about 2 millimeters. Figure 6 also illustrates an example of a uniform distribution pattern of the apertures 520. In Figure 6, the apertures 520 are distributed across the third layer 505 in a grid of parallel rows and columns. Within each row and column, the apertures 520 may be equidistant from each other, as illustrated in the example of Figure 6. Figure 6 illustrates one example configuration that may be particularly suitable for many applications, in which the apertures 520 are spaced about 6 millimeters apart along each row and column, with a 3 millimeter offset.

[0082] Figure 7 is a schematic view of the third layer 505 of Figure 6 overlaid on the second layer 210 of Figure 3, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some example embodiments of the tissue interface 114. For example, as illustrated in Figure 7, the fluid restrictions 220 may be aligned, overlapping, in registration with, or otherwise fluidly coupled to the apertures 520 in some embodiments. In some embodiments, one or more of the fluid restrictions 220 may be registered with the apertures 520 only in an interior portion, or only partially registered with the apertures 520. The fluid restrictions 220 in the example of Figure 7 are generally configured so that each of the fluid restrictions 220 is registered with only one of the apertures 520. In other examples, one or more of the fluid restrictions 220 may be registered with more than one of the apertures 520. For example, any one or more of the fluid restrictions 220 may be a perforation or a fenestration that extends across two or more of the apertures 520. Additionally or alternatively, one or more of the fluid restrictions 220 may not be registered with any of the apertures 520.

[0083] As illustrated in the example of Figure 7, the apertures 520 may be sized to expose a portion of the second layer 210, the fluid restrictions 220, or both through the third layer 505. In some embodiments, one or more of the apertures 520 may be sized to expose more than one of the fluid restrictions 220. For example, some or all of the apertures 520 may be sized to expose two or three of the fluid restrictions 220. In some examples, the length of each of the fluid restrictions 220 may be substantially equal to the diameter of each of the apertures 520. More generally, the average dimensions of the fluid restrictions 220 are substantially similar to the average dimensions of the apertures 520. For example, the apertures 520 may be elliptical in some embodiments, and the length of each of the fluid restrictions 220 may be substantially equal to the major axis or the minor axis. In some embodiments, though, the dimensions of the fluid restrictions 220 may exceed the dimensions of the apertures 520, and the size of the apertures 520 may limit the effective size of the fluid restrictions 220 exposed to the lower surface of the dressing 104.

[0084] Figure 8 is an assembly view of an example of the dressing 104, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some example embodiments of the therapy system of Figure 1 in which the dressing 104 may comprise a tie layer 805 in addition to the first layer 205 and the second layer 210. The tie layer 805 may have perforations 810 and may have a thickness between 10 microns and 100 microns in some embodiments. The tie layer 805 may be clear, colored, or printed. As illustrated in Figure 8, the tie layer 805 may be disposed between the first layer 205 and the second layer 210. The third layer 505 may also be bonded to at least one of the first layer 205 and the second layer 210 in some embodiments.

[0085] The tie layer 805 may comprise polyurethane film, for example, which can be bonded to the first layer 205 and the second layer 210. For example, if the first layer 205 is polyurethane foam and the second layer 210 is formed of a polyethylene film, the second layer 210 may be more readily bonded to the tie layer 805 than directly to the first layer 205.

[0086] Figure 9 is an assembly view of an example of the dressing 104, illustrating additional details that may be associated with some example embodiments of the therapy system of Figures 1 in which the dressing 104 may comprise the first layer 205, the second layer 210, and the cover 116 only. In some embodiments, the second layer 210 optionally includes a low tack adhesive on the first side. The low tack adhesive may be configured to hold the dressing 104 in place while the cover 116 is applied. The low tack adhesive may be continuously coated on the second layer 210 or applied in a pattern.

[0087] Figure 10 is a perspective view of an example of an attachment device 1000 that may be associated with some example embodiments of the dressing 104. In some embodiments, the attachment device 1000 may include one or more polymer strips, such as polyurethane strips, having an adhesive thereon. The attachment device 1000 can be configured to seal the exposed perimeter 400 and affix the dressing 104 to a patient's skin so as to provide both a seal and long- term mechanical fixation. The attachment device 1000 may also be applied to areas when the dressing 104 has been compromised due to the need to form a 3-dimensional shape. In some embodiments, the attachment device 1000 may be a composite strip of a perforated gel, substantially similar to the third layer 505 and a backing with an acrylic adhesive.

[0088] The cover 116, the first layer 205, the second layer 210, the third layer 505, or various combinations may be assembled before application or in situ. For example, the cover 116 may be laminated to the first layer 205, and the second layer 210 may be laminated to the first layer 205 opposite the cover 116 in some embodiments. The third layer 505 may also be coupled to the second layer 210 opposite the first layer 205 in some embodiments. In some embodiments, one or more layers of the tissue interface 114 may coextensive. For example, the second layer 210, the third layer 505, the tie layer 805, or any combination thereof may be cut flush with the edge of the first layer 205, exposing the edge of the first layer 205. In other embodiments, the second layer 210, the third layer 505, the tie layer 805, or any combination thereof may overlap the edge of the first layer 205.

[0089] In use, the dressing 104 may be sized to a specific region or anatomical area through cutting to manage radii, such as for amputations. The dressing 104 may be cut without losing pieces of the dressing 104 and without the dressing 104 falling apart. Once the dressing 104 is shaped to the anatomical or wound area, the release liner 245 (if included) may be removed to expose the third layer 505 of the example of Figure 5, and the dressing 104 may be placed within, over, on, or otherwise proximate to a tissue site, particularly a surface tissue site and adjacent epidermis. The third layer 505, when formed of silicone, may provide a temporary fixation.

[0090] The third layer 505, the tie layer 805, and the second layer 210 may be interposed between the first layer 205 and the tissue site, which can substantially reduce or eliminate adverse interaction with the first layer 205. For example, the third layer 505 may be placed over a surface wound (including edges of the wound) and undamaged epidermis to prevent direct contact with the first layer 205. In some applications, the interior portion of the third layer 505 may be positioned adjacent to, proximate to, or covering a tissue site. In some applications, at least some portion of the second layer 210, the fluid restrictions 220, or both may be exposed to a tissue site through the third layer 505. The periphery of the third layer 505 may be positioned adjacent to or proximate to tissue around or surrounding the tissue site. The third layer 505 may be sufficiently tacky to hold the dressing 104 in position prior to application of the attachment device 1000, while also allowing the dressing 104 to be removed or re-positioned without trauma to the tissue site.

[0091] In some embodiments, the tissue interface 114 is applied to a wound before the cover 116 is applied over the tissue interface 114, and a hole is cut in the cover 116. In some embodiments, the second layer 210 having a low tack adhesive on a tissue facing side permits the dressing to be held in place while the cover 116 is applied over the tissue interface 114.

[0092] The geometry and dimensions of the tissue interface 114, the cover 116, or both may vary to suit a particular application or anatomy. Additionally or alternatively, the dimensions may be modified to increase the surface area for the third layer 505 to enhance the movement and proliferation of epithelial cells at a tissue site and reduce the likelihood of granulation tissue in-growth.

[0093] Further, the dressing 104 and the attachment device 1000 may permit re- application or re-positioning to reduce or eliminate leaks, which can be caused by creases and other discontinuities in the dressing 104 or a tissue site. The ability to rectify leaks may increase the reliability of the therapy and reduce power consumption in some embodiments.

[0094] Thus, the dressing 104 can provide a sealed therapeutic environment proximate to a tissue site, substantially isolated from the external environment, and the negative-pressure source 102 can reduce the pressure in the sealed therapeutic environment.

[0095] If not already configured, the dressing interface 255 may be disposed over the aperture 260 and attached to the cover 116. The fluid conductor 250 may be fluidly coupled to the dressing interface 255 and to the negative-pressure source 102.

[0096] Negative pressure applied through the tissue interface 114 can create a negative pressure differential across the fluid restrictions 220 in the second layer 210, which can open or expand the fluid restrictions 220. For example, in some embodiments in which the fluid restrictions 220 may comprise substantially closed fenestrations through the second layer 210, a pressure gradient across the fenestrations can strain the adjacent material of the second layer 210 and increase the dimensions of the fenestrations to allow liquid movement through them, similar to the operation of a duckbill valve. Opening the fluid restrictions 220 can allow exudate and other liquid movement through the fluid restrictions 220 into the first layer 205 and the container 106. Changes in pressure can also cause the first layer 205 to expand and contract, and the interior border 435 may protect the epidermis from irritation. The second layer 210 and the third layer 505 can also substantially reduce or prevent exposure of tissue to the first layer 205, which can inhibit growth of tissue into the first layer 205.

[0097] If the negative-pressure source 102 is removed or turned off, the pressure differential across the fluid restrictions 220 can dissipate, allowing the fluid restrictions 220 to close and prevent exudate or other liquid from returning to the tissue site through the second layer 210.

[0098] In some applications, a filler may also be disposed between a tissue site and the third layer 505. For example, if the tissue site is a surface wound, a wound filler may be applied interior to the periwound, and the third layer 505 may be disposed over the periwound and the wound filler. In some embodiments, the filler may be a manifold, such as an open-cell foam. The filler may comprise or consist essentially of the same material as the first layer 205 in some embodiments.

[0099] Additionally or alternatively, instillation solution or other fluid may be distributed to the dressing 104, which can increase the pressure in the tissue interface 114. The increased pressure in the tissue interface 114 can create a positive pressure differential across the fluid restrictions 220 in the second layer 210, which can open the fluid restrictions 220 to allow the instillation solution or other fluid to be distributed to the tissue site.

[00100] The systems, apparatuses, and methods described herein may provide significant advantages over prior dressings. For example, some dressings for negative-pressure therapy can require time and skill to be properly sized and applied to achieve a good fit and seal. In contrast, some embodiments of the dressing 104 provide a negative-pressure dressing that is simple to apply, reducing the time to apply and remove. In some embodiments, for example, the dressing 104 may be a fully-integrated negative-pressure therapy dressing that can be applied to a tissue site (including on the periwound) in one step, without being cut to size, while still providing or improving many benefits of other negative-pressure therapy dressings that require sizing. Such benefits may include good manifolding, beneficial granulation, protection of the peripheral tissue from maceration, protection of the tissue site from shedding materials, and a low-trauma and high-seal bond. These characteristics may be particularly advantageous for surface wounds having moderate depth and medium-to-high levels of exudate. Some embodiments of the dressing 104 may remain on the tissue site for at least 5 days, and some embodiments may remain for at least 7 days. Antimicrobial agents in the dressing 104 may extend the usable life of the dressing 104 by reducing or eliminating infection risks that may be associated with extended use, particularly use with infected or highly exuding wounds.

[00101] While shown in a few illustrative embodiments, a person having ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the systems, apparatuses, and methods described herein are susceptible to various changes and modifications that fall within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, descriptions of various alternatives using terms such as "or" do not require mutual exclusivity unless clearly required by the context, and the indefinite articles "a" or "an" do not limit the subject to a single instance unless clearly required by the context.

[00102] Features, elements, and aspects described in the context of some embodiments may also be omitted, combined, or replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent, or similar purpose without departing from the scope of the invention defined by the appended claims. For example, one or more of the features of some layers may be combined with features of other layers to provide an equivalent function. In other examples, the second layer 210, the third layer 505, or some combination of the second layer 210 and the third layer 505 may be coupled to both sides of the first layer 205.

[00103] Components may be also be combined or eliminated in various configurations for purposes of sale, manufacture, assembly, or use. For example, in some configurations the dressing 104, the container 106, or both may be eliminated or separated from other components for manufacture or sale. In other example configurations, components of the dressing 104 may also be manufactured, configured, assembled, or sold independently or as a kit.

[00104] The appended claims set forth novel and inventive aspects of the subject matter described above, but the claims may also encompass additional subject matter not specifically recited in detail. For example, certain features, elements, or aspects may be omitted from the claims if not necessary to distinguish the novel and inventive features from what is already known to a person having ordinary skill in the art. Features, elements, and aspects described in the context of some embodiments may also be omitted, combined, or replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent, or similar purpose without departing from the scope of the invention defined by the appended claims.