Characterization of the Blister Fluid Proteome for Pediatric Burn Classification

Blister fluid (BF) is a novel and viable research matrix for burn injury study, which can reflect both systemic and local microenvironmental responses. The protein abundance in BF from different burn severities were initially observed using a 2D SDS-PAGE approach. Subsequently, a quantitative data independent acquisition (DIA) method, SWATH, was employed to characterize the proteome of pediatric burn blister fluid. More than 600 proteins were quantitatively profiled in 87 BF samples from different pediatric burn patients. These data were correlated with clinically assessed burn depth and time until complete wound re-epithelialization through several different statistical analyses. Several proteins from these analyses exhibited significant abundance change between different burn depth or re-epithelialization groups, and can be considered as potential biomarker candidates. Further gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis of the significant proteins revealed the most significant burn related biological processes (BP) that are altered with burn depth, including homeostasis and oxygen transport. However, for wounds with re-epithelialization times more or less than 21 days, the significant GO annotations were related to enzyme activity. This quantitative proteomics investigation of burn BF may enable objective classification of burn wound severity and assist with clinical decision-making. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD011102.