MatriDerm, a collagen-elastin dermal template, is commonly used in full-thickness wound repair, to
promote dermal regeneration and improve scar tissue quality. Due to the non-cross-linked status, it is
expected to biodegrade relatively quickly. Cross-linking the collagen-elastin template could potentially
enhance its performance.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cross-linking on MatriDerm stability, cell
interaction, biodegradation and wound contraction using established cell culture and murine models.
MatriDerm was cross-linked with glutaraldehyde vapour and characterized in comparison with noncross-
linked MatriDerm. Surface morphology, in-vitro stability and strength were assessed through
scanning electron microscopy, measurement of protein loss, and tensile modulus testing,
respectively. Cell-scaffold interaction, cell proliferation and migration was examined using cultured
human dermal fibroblasts. The scaffold biodegradation and its impact on wound healing and
contraction was studied in a murine model.
Cross-linked MatriDerm displayed a slight but significant reduction in average pore size, a significant
reduction of total protein loss and a 3-fold increase in tensile strength compared to the non-crosslinked
template. In-vitro studies observed a significant increase of fibroblast proliferation and migration
in cross-linked MatriDerm and reduced scaffold contraction compared to non-cross-linked MatriDerm.
In the murine model, non-cross-linked MatriDerm was almost completely biodegraded after 14 days
but cross-linked MatriDerm remained intact, demonstrating similar host responses.
Cross-linked MatriDerm’s durability was enhanced, demonstrated by significant increase in biostability
and strength both in-vitro and in-vivo. The extended exposure of cross-linked MatriDerm in a wound
could have beneficial effects on scar tissue formation and further its potential as a base for skin tissue