Dermal collagen matrices for ventral hernia repair: comparative analysis in a rat model.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare inflammatory responses, tissue integration, and strength of the acellular dermal collagen matrices AlloDerm(®)* Regenerative Tissue Matrix, Permacol™**Surgical Implant (Permacol), and CollaMend™*** Implant in a rat model for ventral hernia repair.
Methods: Rats were randomized into four groups and abdominal wall defects repaired with an inlay graft of AlloDerm, Permacol, or CollaMend. Rats were sacrificed at six time points and the defect area was removed and analyzed for tissue integration and physical strength.
Results: Variable cell infiltration was seen for the three implant groups. At of the all time points examined, cellular infiltration was most rapid in the AlloDerm implants and slowest for CollaMend. At 14 days, significant cell infiltration along with putative blood vessel formation was observed for AlloDerm, while Permacol implants exhibited a moderate level of infiltration. Very few cells penetrated CollaMend implants at 2 weeks. Cells had reached the center of the Permacol implants by 1 month, whereas CollaMend implants were encapsulated with a loose coat of disconnected cells, with very few cells infiltrating past the surface. At 6 months, AlloDerm and Permacol had evidence of cell penetration throughout the implants, while the CollaMend samples exhibited limited infiltration. Animals for each implant developed seromas: AlloDerm 40%, Permacol 33%, and CollaMend 83%. Mechanical testing revealed that AlloDerm at 6 months showed the lowest tensile strength, CollaMend the highest, and Permacol an intermediate level.
Conclusions: The three biologics exhibited different patterns and rates of cellular and vascular permeation in our rat model. AlloDerm implants exhibited the most rapid and extensive cellular infiltration, followed by Permacol. However, on gross examination, the AlloDerm implants thinned significantly by 6 months. In contrast, the Permacol and CollaMend implants appeared to be largely intact.