Use of a collagen-elastin matrix for hard to treat soft tissue defects

Int Wound J. 2011 Jun;8(3):291-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-481X.2011.00785.x. Epub 2011 Mar 30.


As deep soft tissue defects with exposed bone, cartilage or tendons are not suitable for wound closure with skin mesh grafts, other techniques are needed. We report on six patients, one female and five males, aged between 32 and 89 years, and deep soft tissue defects with exposed tendons, cartilage or bone. The aetiology of these defects was vascular (n = 3), tumour surgery (2), and post-traumatic (1). Wounds were treated with a collagen-elastin matrix applied above the exposed structures. In five patients, the procedure was combined with mesh graft transplantation in the same setting. Follow-up varied between 12 and 40 weeks. Wound healing was uncomplicated in all transplanted patients until first dressing change after 7 days. All but one transplant showed a 100% take rate and the transplant was stable within 10-14 days. A complete wound closure was also achieved without transplantation, but this took 8 weeks. No adverse effects were noted. There was no skin contracture of the skin grafts. Collagen-elastin matrix with split-thickness skin grafts is a useful tool in deep soft tissue. The time to heal can be reduced.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Elastin / pharmacology
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / complications
  • Leg Ulcer / surgery
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Neoplasms / complications
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery
  • Skin Transplantation / methods*
  • Skin, Artificial*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / etiology
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / therapy*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Elastin