Insoluble collagen from human dermis was equilibrated in a physiological medium with mixtures of 3H2O and fluorescein-conjugated dextrans of different molecular weights. Dextrans of mol.wts. greater than 10(5) were excluded from a volume of 3.82+/-0.87 ml(S.D.) per g of collagen; dextrans of lower molecular weight occupied a larger volume. The apparent excluded volume was proportional to the weight of the collagen. Dansylated albumin behaved similarly to dextran; the polymeric collagen from rat skin exhibited a much larger excluded volume than the insoluble collagen. These results indicated that the volume available to the plasma proteins in human dermis was limited by insoluble collagen as well as by the glycosaminoglycans of the tissue.

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