Molecular biomarkers of oxygen therapy in patients with diabetic foot ulcers

Alisha R. Oropallo, Thomas E. Serena, David G. Armstrong, Mark Q. Niederauer

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and topical oxygen therapy (TOT) including continuous diffuse oxygen therapy (CDOT) are often utilized to enhance wound healing in patients with diabetic foot ulcerations. High pressure pure oxygen assists in the oxygenation of hypoxic wounds to increase perfusion. Although oxygen therapy provides wound healing benefits to some patients with diabetic foot ulcers, it is currently performed from clinical examination and imaging. Data suggest that oxygen therapy promotes wound healing via angiogenesis, the creation of new blood vessels. Molecular biomarkers relating to tissue inflammation, repair, and healing have been identified. Predictive biomarkers can be used to identify patients who will most likely benefit from this specialized treatment. In diabetic foot ulcerations, specifically, certain biomarkers have been linked to factors involving angiogenesis and inflammation, two crucial aspects of wound healing. In this review, the mechanism of how oxygen works in wound healing on a physiological basis, such as cell metabolism and growth factor signaling transduction is detailed. Additionally, observable clinical outcomes such as collagen formation, angiogenesis, respiratory burst and cell proliferation are described. The scientific evidence for the impact of oxygen on biomolecular pathways and its relationship to the outcomes in clinical research is discussed in this narrative review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number925
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Continuous diffusion oxygen
  • Diabetic foot ulcer
  • Hyperbaric
  • Molecular biomarkers
  • Oxygen
  • Topical oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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