‡ In these countries please contact our distributor

How PICO Therapy works

What is PICO sNPWT?

A unique construction and effective mode of action combine to help wound progress1-4

The PICO System consists of an innovative pump and unique four-layer dressing with proprietary features that facilitate various wound healing mechanisms.

Only PICO Dressings feature AIRLOCKTechnology for consistent delivery of negative pressure across the wound and wider zone of injury.



- The AIRLOCK Technology layer provides a bacterial barrier1
- Only 13.5% of wounds require a filler, compared to 99.8% with tNPWTi5,6
- Designed for ease of application and removal,7-9 with gentle silicone helping to minimise trauma and pain in the peri-wound area11-13

Additional features

- Quiet pump and integrated belt clip to enable portability14,15,17
- Visual indicators for air leaks and low battery15,16
- ‘Start date’ field and ‘dressing full’ indicator help dressing change optimisation and reduce potential for maceration15
- Shown to consistently deliver a nominal 80mmHg of NPWT event without a complete seal,ii18,19 and on awkward body contours7,20,21

How PICO sNPWT features facilitate wound progression

Prevention: on closed surgical incisions

PICO sNPWT has been shown to reduce lateral tensile forces22 and oedema23-25, whilst increasing perfusion 26,27 and lymphatic drainage.iii28

Watch: Dr Birke-Sorensen explains the use of NPWT in closed surgical incision management.

Treatment: on acute and chronic wounds

In improving wound contraction14,29 and the stimulation of granulation tissue,30-33 NPWT helps to promote blood flow26,27 and angiogenesis;34,35 with a reduction in oedema.23,36

Read a report on how NPWT works.

For further information and guidance on the use of PICO sNPWT, email us 

Helping you get CLOSER TO ZERO delay in wound healing.14,29,37

For detailed product information, including indications for use, contraindications, effects, precautions, warnings, and important safety information, please consult product’s Instructions for Use (IFU) prior to use.

i Demonstrated in a study of venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers with the PICO dressing making contact with the wound bed. N=161, p≤0.003.
ii Demonstrated in vitro
iii Demonstrated in vivo


1. Data on file reference 1102010 – Bacterial Barrier Testing (wet-wet) of PICO Dressing with a 7 day Test Duration against S. marcescens.
2. Malmsjö, M., Huddleston, E. and Martin, R., 2014. Biological effects of a disposable, canisterless negative pressure wound therapy system. Eplasty; 14:e15.
3. Pellino, G., Sciaudone, G., Candilio, G., Campitiello, F., Selvaggi, F. and Canonico, S., 2014. Effects of a new pocket device for negative pressure wound therapy on surgical wounds of patients affected with Crohn’s disease: a pilot trial. Surgical innovation, 21(2), pp.204-212.
4. Hudson, D.A., Adams, K.G., Van Huyssteen, A., Martin, R. and Huddleston, E.M., 2015. Simplified negative pressure wound therapy: clinical evaluation of an ultraportable, no‐canister system. International wound journal, 12(2), pp.195-201.
5. Kirsner R, Dove C, Reyzelman A, Vayser D, Jaimes H. A Prospective, Randomised, Controlled Clinical Trial on the Efficacy of a single-use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System, compared to Traditional Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in the Treatment of Chronic Ulcers of the Lower Extremities. Wound Repair and Regeneration. 2019;27(5):519 – 529
6. Smith & Nephew 2017.A Prospective, Randomized, Comparative Effectiveness Study of a Single-Use, Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System (PICO) versus a Traditional Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System (tNPWT) in the Treatment of Lower Extremity Ulcers. Internal Report. ST974.
7. Smith & Nephew May 2015.A prospective, open, non-comparative, multi-centre study to evaluate the functionality and dressing performance of a new negative pressure enhanced dressing (NPED)in acute wounds (CT09/02). Internal Report. ST865 CT09/02.
8. Hurd T, Trueman P, Rossington A. Use of a Portable, Single-use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Device in Home Care Patients with Low to Moderately Exuding Wounds: A Case Series. Ostomy Wound Mangement. 2014;60(3):30-36.
9. Karlakki SL, Hamad AK, Whittall C, et al. Incisional negative pressure wound therapy dressings (iNPWTd) in routine primary hip and knee arthroplasties: A randomised controlled trial. Bone Joint Res. 2016;5(8):328-337.
10. Hudson DA, Adams KG, Van Huyssteen A, Martin R, Huddleston EM. Simplified negative pressure wound therapy: clinical evaluation of an ultraportable, no-canister system. Int Wound J. 2015;12(2):195-201.
11. Payne C, Edwards D. Application of the Single Use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Device (PICO) on a Heterogeneous Group of Surgical and Traumatic Wounds. ePlasty. 2014:152-166.
12. Sharp E. Single use NPWT for the treatment of complex orthopaedic surgical and trauma wounds. Journal of Wound Care. 2013;22(10):S5-S9.
13. Stryja J, Staffa R, Říha D, Stryjová K, Nicielniková K. Cost-effectiveness of negative pressure wound therapy in outpatient setting. Prolekare. 2015.
14. Smith & Nephew December 2018.Acoustic Testing Report: PICO v2 (PICO 7 and PICO 14) Devices. Internal Report. RD/18/131.
15. American National Standards Institute Inc. 21 October 2009.Human Factors Engineering - Design of medical devices. ANSI/AAMI HE75:2009.
16. Smith & Nephew December 2018.PICO v2 (PICO 7 and PICO 14) Indicator Activation Test Report. Internal Report. RD/18/133.
17. Smith & Nephew December 2018.Summary of PICO v2 (PICO 7 and PICO 14) Human Factors Testing. Internal Report. RD/18/136.
18. Smith & Nephew 2019.Summary Report of in vitro Wound Model and Negative Pressure Delivery (Nominal -80mmHg) testing for PICO v2 (PICO 7 and PICO 14) System. Internal Report. RD/18/134 V2.
19. Smith & Nephew January 2019.Air Leak Tolerance Report: A comparison of PICO v2 (PICO 7 and PICO 14) Devices to PICO vl.6 (PlCO) devices. Internal Report. RD/19/006.
20. Smith & Nephew 2012.Report on (CT10/01): A prospective, open, non-comparative, multicentre study to evaluate the functionality and dressing performance of a new single use negative pressure wound therapy dressing (PICO) in shallow chronic wounds. Internal Report. CT10/01.
21. Dingemans SA, Birnie MFN, Backes M, et al. Prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy after lower extremity fracture surgery: a pilot study. Int Orthop. 2018;42(4):747-753.
22. Loveluck J, Copeland T, Hill J, Hunt A, Martin R. Biomechanical Modeling of the Forces Applied to Closed Incisions During Single-Use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy. ePlasty. 2016.
23. Birke-Sorensen H, Malmsjo M, Rome P, et al. Evidence-based recommendations for negative pressure wound therapy: treatment variables (pressure levels, wound filler and contact layer)-steps towards an international consensus. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2011;64 Suppl:S1-16.
24. Scalise A, Calamita R, Tartaglione C, et al. Improving wound healing and preventing surgical site complications of closed surgical incisions: a possible role of Incisional Negative Pressure Wound Therapy. A systematic review of the literature. Int Wound J. 2016;13(6):1260-1281.
25. Shim HS, Choi JS, Kim SW. A Role for Postoperative Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Multitissue Hand Injuries. Biomed Res Int. 2018;2018.
26. Malmsjö M, Huddleston E, Martin R. Biological Effects of a Disposable, Canisterless Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System. ePlasty. 2014;14:1 - 15.
27. Innocenti M, Santini M, Dreassi E, et al. Effects of Cutaneous Negative Pressure Application on Perforator Artery Flow in Healthy Volunteers: A Preliminary Study. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2018.
28. Kilpadi DV, Cunningham MR. Evaluation of closed incision management with negative pressure wound therapy (CIM): hematoma/seroma and involvement of the lymphatic system. Wound Repair Regen. 2011;19(5):588-596.
29. Dowsett C, Hampton K, Myers D, Styche T. Use of PICO to improve clinical and economic outcomes in hard-to-heal wounds. Wounds International. 2017;8(2):52-58.
30. Dunn R, Hurd T, Chadwick P, et al. Factors associated with positive outcomes in 131 patients treated with gauze-based negative pressure wound therapy. Int J Surg. 2011;9(3):258-262.
31. Young SR, Hampton S, Martin R. Non-invasive assessment of negative pressure wound therapy using high frequency diagnostic ultrasound: oedema reduction and new tissue accumulation. Int Wound J. 2013;10(4):383-388.
32. Smith & Nephew November 2018.The Review Of Evidence Supporting The Use Of PICO In Wounds ≥2cm In Depth. Internal Report. EO.AWM.PCS230.001.v2.
33. Smith & Nephew 2019.Pre-Clinical Assessment of Single-Use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy during in vivo Porcine Wound Healing. Internal Report. DS/19/313/R.
34. Ma Z, Shou K, Li Z, et al. Negative pressure wound therapy promotes vessel destabilization and maturation at various stages of wound healing and thus influences wound prognosis. Exp Ther Med. 2016;11(4):1307-1317.
35. Xia CY, Yu AX, Qi B, et al. Analysis of blood flow and local expression of angiogenesis associated growth factors in infected wounds treated with negative pressure wound therapy. Mol Med Rep. 2014;9(5):1749-1754.
36. Kamolz LP, Andel H, Haslik W, et al. Use of subatmospheric pressure therapy to prevent burn wound progression in human: first experiences. Burns. 2004;30(3):253-258.
37. Smith & Nephew. April 2019. Outcomes following PICO compared to conventional dressings when used prophylactically on closed surgical incisions: systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Report reference EO/AWM/PICO/004/v3.