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Tissue Eng. 2000 Feb;6(1):53-67.

Cultured human keratinocytes on type I collagen membranes to reconstitute the epidermis.

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  • 1Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany. horch@ch11.ukl.uni-freiburg.de


The development of new techniques and modifications to overcome some of the disadvantages in cultured keratinocyte grafting has been motivated by several well-known drawbacks in the use of cultured epithelial autografts such as long culture periods, lack of adherence, difficulty in handling, lack of dermal substrates, and high costs. Two recent insights have influenced further research. On the one hand, it has been shown that the use of undifferentiated proliferative cells in fibrin glue suspensions is effective in epithelial reconstitution. On the other hand, the enzymatic release of cells from the culture surfaces is a critical step leading to at least temporary destruction of anchoring structures of the cultured cells. In this study, we tried to combine these two aspects in an attempt to modify common modalities of keratinocyte transplantation. To avoid dispase dissolving of the cultured cells, keratinocytes were seeded onto bovine collagen type I membranes without feeder layers and under serum-free culture conditions. Subconfluent monolayers of cultured human keratinocytes were transplanted as an upside-down graft on collagen membranes (keratinocyte collagen membrane grafts [KCMG], n = 12) after 3 days of culture or as membrane grafts alone (n = 12) onto standard nude mice full-thickness wounds. Fully differentiated epidermis was found at 21 days after grafting KCMG with persistence of human keratinocytes. This study demonstrates that upside-down grafts of undifferentiated monolayers of keratinocytes on non-cross-linked bovine type I collagen membranes do lead to an early reconstitution of multilayered squamous epithelium with enhanced wound healing compared to the control group. The upside down KCMG grafting technique is able to transfer actively proliferative keratinocytes and simplifies the application compared to conventional epithelial sheet grafting.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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