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Epidermal Role in the Breaking Strength of Wounds

David T. Rovee, PhD; Carole A. Miller, RN
Arch Surg. 1968;96(1):43-52. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01330190045011.
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ALTHOUGH the study of cutaneous repair is and has been widespread, epidermal repair processes have been neglected in favor of fibrogenesis and related dermal aspects of healing. Only recently, investigators have begun to examine critically the normal processes of incisional and excisional repair as it occurs in the epidermis.1-5 To the present, these workers have used largely the histological approach to evaluate epidermal repair. Geever et al,6 on the other hand, reported that noncollagenous proteins played a role in the development of incisional breaking strength. Previously, a wound's breaking strength and tensile properties were generally equated with collagen content as measured histochemically or by hydroxyproline assay.7-9 In their paper, Geever et al6 questioned the possible importance of epithelium, keratin, and mucopolysaccharides in reestablishing the structural integrity of an incisional wound.

Mucopolysaccharides were once considered as "possible agents for producing tensile strength" in cutaneous wounds.10 These


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