THE acceleration of wound healing by the application of cartilage powder has been advocated by Prudden,1-3 and his observation of increased wound tensile strength has been substantiated by San Miguel and Enquist.4 Using methods found to be highly reproducible in our laboratory, a series of experiments were undertaken to further evaluate the effects of cartilage on wound healing. Increases in tensile strength were recorded, and these were maximal if the cartilage was injected into the wound site one week prior to surgery. A disturbing finding, however, was that the cartilage appeared to be antigenic and that animals who had prior exposure to the powder and were then treated a second time showed actual impairment of wound healing.
Male Holtzman rats, weighing 300 to 400 gm were used throughout the study. All rats were housed in individual cages and were given a balanced diet with water ad lib.