Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 1098–1110 | Cite as

Improved Preservation of the Tissue Surrounding Percutaneous Devices by Hyaluronic Acid and Dermatan Sulfate in a Human Skin Explant Model

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


Cellular apoptosis and proliferation was analyzed in an in vitro culture system of organotypic human skin explants in the presence or absence of external fixator pins. The effect on the tissues of a mixture of hyaluronic acid and dermatan sulfate (HA + DS) delivered at the skin–pin interface was also studied. After 2 weeks in culture, skin specimens interfaced with fixator pins showed increased keratinocyte apoptosis and proliferation compared to specimens without fixator pins. Simultaneously, a relative reduction of apoptosis and proliferation was observed in specimens treated with the HA + DS mixture, regardless of fixation pin presence. In addition, the HA + DS mixture appeared to help in the preservation of the epidermal basal membrane. It is concluded that in this in vitro model, fixator pins induce keratinocyte apoptosis and hyperproliferation, which are reduced in the presence of the HA + DS mixture. These methods may be useful for a better maintenance of the soft tissue surrounding percutaneous devices in vivo.


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 research efforts within an Army Research Office Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative award on Bio-Integrating Structural and Neural Prosthetic Materials and we gratefully acknowledge the funding provided. Support for this work was also provided by the University of Michigan College of Engineering GAP Funding program.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2009

Authors and Affiliations

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

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