Effects of an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid peptide-containing artificial matrix on epithelial migration in vitro and experimental second-degree burn wound healing in vivo

Patricia M. Mertz, Stephen C. Davis, Lennart Franzen, Francis Dean Uchima, Marianne P. Pickett, Michael D. Pierschbacher, James W. Polarek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Cells central to dermal tissue repair such as dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes interact with arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD)-containing proteins of the extracellular matrix such as fibronectin. It has been shown that synthetic peptides containing this RGD sequence can also support cell attachment and migration in vitro. We therefore set out to test whether the use of these peptides, when formulated as a synthetic RGD-peptide matrix consisting of peptide complexed with hyaluronic acid, would have an effect on the rate of epithelial migration and healing of experimental wounds. Evaluation consisted of measuring the extent of epithelial outgrowth from human dermal explants and the epithelization of experimental second-degree burn wounds in pigs. We show here that the RGD-peptide matrix supports epithelial sheet migration from explants in a dose-dependent manner. In second-degree burn wounds in pigs, wounds treated with daily applications of the RGD peptide matrix under occlusion resurfaced at a significantly faster rate (day 7 = 57% completely epithelized) than wounds treated with hyaluronic acid under occlusion (day 7 = 13% completely epithelized, p < 0.01), occlusion alone (day 7 = 13% completely epithelized, p < 0.01), or air exposed (day 7 = 0% completely epithelized, p < 0.001). Histologic examination showed that wounds treated with the RGD-peptide matrix also had thicker epithelial covering and greater granulation tissue deposition than occluded, air-exposed, and hyaluronate-treated wounds. These data therefore show that the use of RGD-peptide matrix induces faster explant epithelial migration and results in faster healing of experimental second-degree burns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Nursing(all)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)

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