500-Gray γ-Irradiation May Increase Adhesion Strength of Lyophilized Cadaveric Split-Thickness Skin Graft to Wound Bed

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Abstract

Background

Human cadaveric skin grafts are considered as the “gold standard” for temporary wound coverage because they provide a more conductive environment for natural wound healing. Lyophilization, packing, and terminal sterilization with gamma-ray can facilitate the application of cadaveric split-thickness skin grafts, but may alter the adhesion properties of the grafts. In a pilot study, we found that 500 Gy γ-irradiation seemed not to reduce the adherence between the grafts and wound beds.

Aim and Objectives

We conducted this experiment to compare the adherences of lyophilized, 500-Gy γ-irradiated skin grafts to that of lyophilized, nonirradiated grafts.

Materials and Methods

Pairs of wounds were created over the backs of Sprague- Dawley rats. Pairs of “lyophilized, 500-Gy γ-irradiated” and “lyophilized, nonirradiated” cadaveric split-thickness skin grafts were fixed to the wound beds. Adhesion strength between the grafts and the wound beds was measured and compared.

Results

On post-skin-graft day 7 and day 10, the adhesion strength of γ-irradiated grafts was greater than that of the nonirradiated grafts.

Conclusions

Because lyophilized cadaveric skin grafts can be vascularized and the collagen of its dermal component can be remodeled after grafting, the superior adhesion strength of 500-Gy γ-irradiated grafts can be explained by the collagen changes from irradiation.

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