Mature hypertrophic scars (HSs) remain a challenging clinical problem, particularly due to the absence of biologically relevant experimental models as a standard rabbit ear HS model only reflects an early stage of scarring. The current study aims to adapt this animal model for simulation of mature HS by validating the time of the scar stabilization using qualitative and quantitative criteria. The full-thickness skin and perichondrium excision wounds were created on the ventral side of the rabbit ears. The tissue samples were studied on post-operation days (PODs) 30, 60, 90 and 120. The histopathological examination and morphometry were applied in parallel with biochemical analysis of protein and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) content and amino acid composition. The supramolecular organization of collagen was explored by differential scanning calorimetry. Four stages of the rabbit ear HS maturation were delineated and attributed with the histolomorphometrical and physicochemical parameters of the tissue. The experimental scars formed in 30 days but stabilized structurally and biochemically only on POD 90–120. This evidence-based model can be used for the studies and testing of new treatments of the mature HSs.
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- Animal model
- Hypertrophic scar
- Quantitative histopathol-ogy
- Scar maturation