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Can J Plast Surg. 2012 Fall;20(3):181-5.

The effects of topical collagen treatment on wound breaking strength and scar cosmesis in rats.

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Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery; ; Biomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine;


in English, French


Topical application of collagen has been suggested to enhance wound healing; however, its long-term effect on wounds has not been studied in a rat model.


Topical application of collagen type I will not facilitate incision healing or cosmesis in rats up to 28 days postwounding.


The effects of bovine collagen type I (6 mg/mL) on the rat surgical paired skin incision model were examined. Each rat served as its own control in which topical collagen was applied to one incision while normal saline (0.9%) was applied to the other incision. Rats were euthanized three (n=6), seven (n=6) and 28 (n=5) days after wounding. Tissue harvested from each time point was examined for maximal breaking strength, and for biochemical and histological analysis.


There were no statistically significant differences (ie, P<0.05) in maximum wound breaking strength between the collagen- and saline-treated wounds at all time points. Histological analysis revealed a similar infiltration of inflammatory cells and fibroblasts in the wound edges of all incisions when matched with time of wounding. Western blot analysis revealed no differences in fibronectin or collagen I content in all wounds in each rat.


The topical application of collagen did not facilitate wound healing from three to 28 days in the rat wound model.


Collagen; Scar formation; Topical application; Wound healing


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