Improvement of skin quality using a new collagen scaffold in acute burns and reconstructive surgery: an in vivo evaluation of split skin graft transplantation in a rat model

Dermatol Surg. 2012 Aug;38(8):1338-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2012.02444.x. Epub 2012 May 15.


Introduction: Split-thickness skin grafting is often associated with poor skin quality. In this context, a new collagen cell carrier (CCC), as an underlayment in split skin graft (SSG) transplantation for covering tissue defects in rats, has been evaluated as an improving agent.

Methods: Twenty-eight full-thickness wounds were covered with SSGs, applying the CCC as an underlayment in 14 rats and using SSG transplantation alone in control group. Postgraft skin areas were assessed using an instrument that measures mechanical properties of skin. Three parameters were considered for skin elasticity analysis: total skin deviation (R0), gross elasticity (R2) and viscoelasticity (R8). Measurements were performed every 10 days for 80 days after grafting. Biopsies were taken subsequently for histologic evaluation.

Results: The results demonstrated significantly superior elasticity values in CCC-supplemented SSGs in terms of gross elasticity and viscoelasticity (R2/R8) starting from day 60 after grafting to the end of the measuring period. There was no histologic evidence of inflammation, adverse host tissue reaction, or scar tissue formation.

Conclusion: Split skin grafting is associated with poor dermal quality, but CCC may offer unique opportunities in complex wound management in terms of skin graft quality improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Burns / surgery
  • Collagen*
  • Elasticity
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena*
  • Skin Transplantation / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Wound Healing


  • Collagen