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The Chinese Journal of Dental Research

Year 2003
Volume 6 , Issue 1

Pages: 11 - 17

Tissue Engineered Skin-Repair Full Layer Defect

Yulai Weng/Yilin Cao/Charles A. Vacanti

Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of regenerating or repairing damaged skin utilizing tissue engineering techniques. Materials and Methods: Three Yorkshire pigs 15-20 kg in weight were used in the study. A critical-size defect of 6 full-thickness, round wounds, 4 cm in diameter in the paravertebral region of each animal were excised. To prevent shrinkage of the edge of the skin round the wound, skin graft chambers made of poplytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) were used. Dermal and epidermal cells from porcine skin were harvested, cultured in vitro and suspended in 25% pluronic F-127; 3 ml of this suspension, with a concentration of 2.5 x 107 cells/ml, was painted onto the defects. Eighteen skin defects were randomly divided into 3 groups. Group I, the control, received no cells and polymer. Group II received pluronic hydrogel without cells. Group III, the experimental group, was treated with a mixture of cells (keratinocytes and fibroblasts) and pluronic hydrogel. All specimens were harvested at 4 and 6 weeks and underwent gross, histological, and transmission electron microscope evaluation. Results: After 4-6 weeks, the skin edge had contracted from the walls of the skin graft chambers and approximately one third of all the chambers showed marked erythema of the surrounding skin and partial or complete extrusion of the chambers. Histologically, the experimental group was similar to normal skin, with a stratified epidermis overlying a moderately thick collagenous dermis. The interface of the tissue was apparently demarcated by epidermal ridges and dermal papillae. The control groups showed no skin formation except for granulation tissue with infiltrating inflammatory cells in the wound. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the basal lamina of the experimental group was well developed and attached to the extracellular matrix. Meanwhile, hemidesmosomes were present along the cytoplasmic membrane of the basal cells. Both sides on the basal lamina had electron lucent and electron dense bands thought to be early lamina lucida and lamina densa, respectively. Conclusion: These findings demonstrated that the use of tissue engineered skin with pluronic FE-127 as a cell carrier did not cause an immune reaction, which was thought to be due to a decreased allo-stimulatory condition of the keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Tissue engineered skin will be applied to both preclinical and clinical studies in the near future.



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