EVIDENCE has been presented repeatedly by others and by us that locally-applied bovine cartilage powder and an injected saline-cartilage extract will increase the tensile strength of healing incised wounds.1-4 Prudden demonstrated a gain of 50% in tensile strength with locally-applied cartilage powder and a gain of 18% with material given parenterally.3,5 However, the exact component (or components) in cartilage responsible for these effects remains unidentified. Dunphy6 and his colleagues, and subsequently, we7 have shown the positive relationship that exists between tensile strength and the collagen content of healing incised wounds. The present study was designed to examine quantitatively the role played by the collagen fraction of exogenous cartilage in increasing tensile strength of wounds healing per primam.
Male albino Wistar rats weighing from 200 to 300 gm (7.1 to 10.7 oz) were used. They were individually housed in cages and were given a standard laboratory