The use of collagen-GAG membranes in reconstructive surgery

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Oct 30:888:233-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb07959.x.


Porous collagen-glycosaminoglycan (PCG) membranes with a porous silicone elastomer coating have been useful as a scaffold for dermal replacement in burn victims. Critical physicochemical parameters of these membranes include pore size, cross-link density, the percentage of glycosaminoglycan, and the degree of banding of the collagen. These factors govern the immunobiological response. Optimizing these parameters can reduce inflammation, scarring, and contraction of wounds grafted with PCG membranes. PCG membranes are currently commercially manufactured (Integra, Integra Life Sciences, New Jersey) and available for clinical use. Because clinical outcomes have improved using these membranes for burn wound coverage, other skin reconstruction problems including scar resurfacing, keloids, treatment of donor sites, and treatment of chronic wounds can be considered as potential applications. This manuscript illustrates our early experience using Integra as a CG membrane for dermal replacement in reconstructive surgery. Our results indicate that CG membranes can lead to improved compliance and appearance compared to a meshed graft and may be sequentially placed in multiple layers to correct contour deformities. Also, in one case, we observed that, if placed on a wound bed with embedded skin epithelial cells, the PCG promotes epithelialization through the PCG matrix. The use of this material results in a supple integument with many similarities to normal skin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Child
  • Collagen
  • Female
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Skin, Artificial*
  • Wound Healing


  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Collagen