Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 401–409 | Cite as

Novel Organotypic Cultures of Human Skin Explants with an Implant-tissue Biomaterial Interface

  • Antonio Peramo
  • Cynthia L. Marcelo
  • Steven A. Goldstein
  • David C. Martin


A novel in vitro culture system of organotypic human skin explants interfacing with external fixator pins is presented. The system was used to observe changes in skin morphology on the skin at the pin interface. To evaluate the performance of this novel system, histological analysis of human skin explants cultured for 5 days at the air–liquid interface was performed. Compared to control explants, specimens interfaced with pins (treated or not with a physiological saline solution) showed a deteriorating basal layer, a disappearing stratum spinosum and increased lost of elastic fibers in the dermis. The model system makes it possible to perform rapid, repeatable studies of living skin response to chronically implanted materials and devices.


Organotypic culture Wound healing Skin biomaterial Implant interface External fixation 



We thank Harald Eberhart, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, for help with the glass lid design. We thank Marta Dzaman, Morphology Core, University of Michigan for advice on specimen sectioning and staining. This report is presented as part of the research efforts within the Army Research Office Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative award on Bio-Integrating Structural and Neural Prosthetic Materials and we gratefully acknowledge the funding provided.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Peramo
    • 1
  • Cynthia L. Marcelo
    • 2
  • Steven A. Goldstein
    • 3
    • 4
  • David C. Martin
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Macromolecular Science and Engineering CenterUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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