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Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1998;9(3):333-44.

Tissue engineering of skin.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, Brigham/Children's/Harvard, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The skin plays a crucial role in protecting the integrity of the body's internal milieu. The loss of this largest organ is incompatible with sustained life. In reconstructive surgery or burn management, substitution of the skin is often necessary. In addition to traditional approaches such as split- or full-thickness skin grafts, tissue flaps and free-tissue transfers, skin bioengineering in vitro or in vivo has been developing over the past decades. It applies the principles and methods of both engineering and life sciences toward the development of substitutes to restore and maintain skin structure and function. Currently, these methods are valuable alternatives or complements to other techniques in reconstructive surgery. This review article deals with the evolution and current approaches to the development of in vitro and in vivo epidermis and dermis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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