Aim: To test whether a collagen matrix (CM) can improve early wound healing and aesthetics, and decrease wound sensitivity compared with spontaneous healing.
Methods: In 15 volunteers, 6-mm punch biopsies were harvested at both palatal sites. A CM was sutured in one site; the other one was left untreated (control). Measurements included the remaining defect area, the colour match to surrounding tissue and somatosensory parameters at various time-points (pre-operative, post-operative, 4, 8, 15, 29 days).
Results: The defect area decreased over time for both treatments. Re-epithelization was completed in all subjects by day 15. The defect area was significantly smaller for CM (mean ± SD: 19.3 ± 3.4 mm(2)) compared with control (21.3 ± 3.3 mm(2)) at day 4 (p < 0.05), and at day 8 (CM: 11.7 ± 2.5 mm(2) ; control: 13.6 ± 2.9 mm(2) ; p < 0.01). The colour match was more favourable for CM at day 4, 8 and 29 (p > 0.05). Somatosensory measurements revealed slightly lower wound sensitivity at day 4 for CM compared with control.
Conclusions: The use of CM can enhance wound healing compared with spontaneous healing during the first week. This was mainly documented by a faster re-epithelization. Colour match and wound sensitivity measurements did not reach statistical significance between CM and control sites.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.