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Military medicine

Chimeric autologous/allogeneic constructs for skin regeneration.


PMID 25102552

Abstract

The ideal treatment for severe cutaneous injuries would eliminate the need for autografts and promote fully functional, aesthetically pleasing autologous skin regeneration. NIKS progenitor cell-based skin tissues have been developed to promote healing by providing barrier function and delivering wound healing factors. Independently, a device has recently been created to "copy" skin by harvesting full-thickness microscopic tissue columns (MTCs) in lieu of autografts traditionally harvested as sheets. We evaluated the feasibility of combining these two technologies by embedding MTCs in NIKS-based skin tissues to generate chimeric autologous/allogeneic constructs. Chimeric constructs have the potential to provide immediate wound coverage, eliminate painful donor site wounds, and promote restoration of a pigmented skin tissue possessing hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands. After MTC insertion, chimeric constructs and controls were reintroduced into air-interface culture and maintained in vitro for several weeks. Tissue viability, proliferative capacity, and morphology were evaluated after long-term culture. Our results confirmed successful MTC insertion and integration, and demonstrated the feasibility of generating chimeric autologous/allogeneic constructs that preserved the viability, proliferative capacity, and structure of autologous pigmented skin. These feasibility studies established the proof-of-principle necessary to further develop chimeric autologous/allogeneic constructs for the treatment of complex skin defects.