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J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018 Feb;12(2):e983-e994. doi: 10.1002/term.2420. Epub 2017 Jun 4.

Electrospun poly(hydroxybutyrate) scaffolds promote engraftment of human skin equivalents via macrophage M2 polarization and angiogenesis.

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Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria la Fe, Regenerative Medicine and Heart Transplantation Unit, Valencia, Spain.
Joint Unit for Cardiovascular Repair Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Fe-Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, Valencia, Spain.
Instituto Tecnológico Textil Aitex, Alcoy, Spain.
Departamento de Patología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.
Laboratory of Cell Therapy, Foundation for Applied Medical Research and Clínica Universidad de Navarra, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.


Human dermo-epidermal skin equivalents (DE) comprising in vitro expanded autologous keratinocytes and fibroblasts are a good option for massive burn treatment. However, the lengthy expansion time required to obtain sufficient surface to cover an extensive burn together with the challenging surgical procedure limits their clinical use. The integration of DE and biodegradable scaffolds has been proposed in an effort to enhance their mechanical properties. Here, it is shown that poly(hydroxybutyrate) electrospun scaffolds (PHB) present good biocompatibility both in vitro and in vivo and are superior to poly-ε-caprolactone electrospun scaffolds as a substrate for skin reconstruction. Implantation of PHB scaffolds in healthy rats polarized macrophages to an M2-type that promoted constructive in vivo remodelling. Moreover, implantation of DE-PHB composites in a NOD/SCID mouse xenograft model resulted in engraftment accompanied by an increase in angiogenesis that favoured the survival of the human graft. Thus, PHB scaffolds are an attractive substrate for further exploration in skin reconstruction procedures, probably due in part to their greater angiogenic and M2 macrophage polarization properties.


electrospinning; human skin xenograft; poly(hydroxybutyrate); skin equivalents


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