Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 695, 2011, pp 129-153

Production of Tissue-Engineered Skin and Oral Mucosa for Clinical and Experimental Use

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Abstract

Since the early 1990s, our understanding of how epithelial and stromal cells interact in 3D tissue-engineered constructs has led to tissue-engineered skin and oral mucosa models, which are beginning to deliver benefit in the clinic (usually in small-scale reconstructive surgery procedures) but have a great deal to offer for in vitro investigations. These 3D tissue-engineered models can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as dermato- and mucotoxicity, wound healing, examination of pigmentation and melanoma biology, and in particular, a recent development from this laboratory, as a model of bacterially infected skin. Models can also be used to investigate specific skin disease processes. In this chapter, we describe the basic methodology for producing 3D tissue-engineered skin and oral mucosa based on de-epidermised acellular human dermis, and we give examples of how these models can be used for a variety of applications.