Creating thick linear scar by inserting a gelatin sponge into rat excisional wounds.
ABSTRACT The rat incisional wound is an important model for wound scarring research, but it is also difficult to mimic thick human incisional scarring. We hypothesized that such a thick linear scarring can be generated by inserting a gelatin sponge into a rat excisional wound. The results demonstrated that the new wound model could generate 11 times wider wound width (at day 7) and 4-5 times wider scar width (at days 14, 21, and 60), respectively, than the widths of incisional wounds (p<0.05) in adult Sprague-Dawley rats. The thick linear scar created was grossly apparent in contrast to the grossly unobvious scar of the incisional wound, and a regular linear shape could be achieved with a similar scar width along the wound. The mechanism study revealed several factors that might contribute to the enhanced scarring, including delayed wound healing, enhanced inflammation, increased expression of fibrotic factors, and abnormal wound remodeling due to the insertion of the gelatin sponge. These results indicate that the new wound model of thick linear scar might be valuable for clinically relevant study of scar manipulation. Moreover, this model may serve as a tool for studying gene-mediated tissue regeneration during wound repair using inserted gelatin sponge as a gene carrier.