Scanning Electron Microscopy


Collagen fiber diameters, amount of birefringent collagen (brightness) and birefringence retardation were measured in implanted collagen-based sponges containing hyaluronic acid (HA) and fibronectin (FN). In the presence of HA and FN, increased number of fibroblasts and brightness were observed 6 days after wounding. Increased brightness in the presence of HA and FN reflected increased deposition of oriented collagen fibers. From days 9 to 12, increased fiber diameters were similar in implanted collagen-based sponges with or without HA and FN. Increased birefringence retardation in sponges containing HA and FN was consistent with increased packing density of collagen fibers observed by scanning electron microscopy.

Our results suggest that HA and FN are effective in promoting fibroblast movement into a collagen sponge and deposition of collagen fibers during the early phases of wound healing. Use of a collagen-based sponge containing HA and FN may enhance collagen deposition in situations where healing is compromised as in the case of dermal ulcers.

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