Rat Burn Model to Study Full-Thickness Cutaneous Thermal Burn and Infection

Rajnikant Sharma, Shekhar Yeshwante, Quentin Vallé, Maytham Hussein, Varsha Thombare, Sean Michael McCann, Robert Maile, Jian Li, Tony Velkov, Gauri Rao

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Burn induction methodologies are inconsistently described in rat models. A uniform burn wound model, which represents the clinical scenario, is necessary to perform reproducible burn research. The present protocol describes a simple and reproducible method to create ~20% total body surface area (TBSA) full-thickness burns in rats. Here, a 22.89 cm2 (5.4 cm diameter) copper rod heated at 97 °C in a water bath was applied to the rat skin surface to induce the burn injury. A copper rod with a high thermal conductivity was able to dissipate the heat deeper in the skin tissue to create a full-thickness burn. Histology analysis shows attenuated epidermis with coagulative damage to the full-thickness extent of the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue. Additionally, this model is representative of the clinical situations observed in hospitalized burn patients following burn injury such as immune dysregulation and bacterial infections. The model can recapitulate the systemic bacterial infection by both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In conclusion, this paper presents an easy-to-learn and robust rat burn model that mimics the clinical situations, including immune dysregulation and bacterial infections, which is of considerable utility for the development of new topical antibiotic drugs for burn wound and infections.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number186
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022

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