c l i n i c a l f o l i o s : d i s c u s s i o n

Human Acellular Dermal Matrix



Related narrative: Repair of Recurrent Stoma Site Hernia.

Human acellular dermal matrix is a patch material prepared from cadaver skin. The epidermis is separated using a high-concentration ionic solution. The process does not alter the structure or integrity of the dermis. Dermal cells are then removed using sodium deoxycholate. The remaining tissue is freeze dried. It has a two-year shelf life when stored at 34-50 degrees F. The material is rehydrated at the time of use. It is available in thicknesses ranging from 0.18 mm to 1.8 mm (and greater) and in sizes from 1x2 cm to 4x16 cm.

The material has been shown to revascularize when implanted in animal experiments. It is non-antigenic because of the absence of cells. As a natural tissue product, it has an advantage over prosthetic materials in contaminated or infected fields. The tensile strength has been demonstrated experimentally to be comparable to PTFE at the graft-fascia junction at the 4-week mark. It also does not appear to adhere to bowel (placed with the superficial surface toward the bowel) compared to prosthetic materials.

The use of this material in humans has been reported for closing large fascial defects resulting from abdominal sepsis, as a biological dressing for burns, for dural repair and for soft tissue augmentation.


Menon, NG et al, revascularization of human acellular dermis in full-thickness abdominal wall reconstruction in the animal model, annals of plastic surgery, vol. 50 no.5, May 2003

Hirsch, EF, repair of an abdominal wall defect after a salvage laparotomy for sepsis, JACS, vol. 198, no. 2, February 2004

This page was last modified on 29-Mar-2004.