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Tissue-engineered skin substitutes: an overview

Abstract

Extensive skin loss and chronic wounds are still a significant challenge to clinicians: even if injured epidermis is normally able to self-renew, deep injuries can cause negative regulation of the wound healing cascade, leading to chronic wound formation. Skin-autografting surgical procedures are often limited by the poor availability of healthy tissue, whereas the use of non-self-tissues for allografts presents some severe risks. Tissue-engineered skin substitutes have recently become viable as a suitable alternative to auto- and allografts. However, biologists, biochemists, and technical engineers are still struggling to produce complex skin substitutes that can readily be transplanted in large quantities. The ambitious goal is now to construct a dermoepidermal substitute that rapidly vascularizes and optimally supports a stratifying epidermal graft on a biodegradable matrix. This review analyzes these aspects in light of the available literature and the authors’ experience.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Lia Rimondini or Barbara Azzimonti.

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Catalano, E., Cochis, A., Varoni, E. et al. Tissue-engineered skin substitutes: an overview. J Artif Organs 16, 397–403 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10047-013-0734-0

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Keywords

  • Tissue
  • Engineered skin substitute
  • Skin regeneration
  • Bioengineered skin
  • Engineered models
  • Biomaterials