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imageAbstract: The suppression of elements associated with wound contracture and unfavorable scarring is a potentially important strategy in clinical wound management. In this study, the presence of α smooth muscle actin (αSMA), a protein involved in wound contraction, was analyzed in a series of wounds in which bovine fetal collagen (BFC) acellular dermal matrix (PriMatrix) was used in staged split thickness skin graft procedures. The results obtained through histological and quantitative image analyses of incidental biopsies from these wounds demonstrated a suppression of αSMA in the wound regions occupied by assimilated BFC relative to increased levels of αSMA found in other areas of the wound. The αSMA levels found in assimilated BFC were similar to αSMA levels in uninjured human dermis. These findings suggest a mechanism by which application of BFC could decrease contraction of full thickness skin wounds.

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