Injectable cross-linked collagen with improved flow properties

J Biomed Mater Res. 1989 Aug;23(8):931-45. doi: 10.1002/jbm.820230809.


Aqueous suspensions of glutaraldehyde cross-linked fibrillar collagen and non-cross-linked fibrillar collagen were examined by rheometry, particle size analysis, and microscopic techniques. Although cross-linked collagen suspensions were similar to non-cross-linked suspensions by microscopic and size analyses, they differed in rheometric properties. Concentric cylinder Couette flow, shear creep, uniaxial creep, and porous bed flow all revealed that cross-linked collagen was more resistant to deformation and flow than non-cross-linked collagen. These results were in agreement with in vivo dermal implantation studies, both in pig and human; i.e., compared to non-cross-linked collagen, the cross-linked formulation was more difficult to inject into tissue and did not spread uniformly, sometimes giving rise to palpable lumps or large masses evident in histological sections. When hyaluronic acid was blended with cross-linked collagen to achieve a final hyaluronate concentration of 5 mg/mL, there was a significant improvement in ease of injection into tissue. Rheometry on blends of hyaluronate and cross-linked collagen demonstrated that the blend required lower forces to achieve deformation and flow, compared to cross-linked collagen alone. Particle size analysis on the blend showed a reduction in fiber aggregate dimensions, compared to cross-linked collagen alone.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen / administration & dosage*
  • Collagen / ultrastructure
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Glutaral
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Skin / pathology
  • Swine
  • Viscosity


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Collagen
  • Glutaral