Tissue scaffolds for skin wound healing and dermal reconstruction

Authors

  • S. P. Zhong,

    1. Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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  • Y. Z. Zhang,

    1. Department of Bioengineering, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
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  • C. T. Lim

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    2. Research Centre of Excellence in Mechanobiology, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    3. Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    • Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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Abstract

One of the major applications of tissue-engineered skin substitutes for wound healing is to promote the healing of cutaneous wounds. In this respect, many important clinical milestones have been reached in the past decades. However, currently available skin substitutes for wound healing often suffer from a range of problems including wound contraction, scar formation, and poor integration with host tissue. Engineering skin substitutes by tissue engineering approach has relied upon the creation of three-dimensional scaffolds as extracellular matrix (ECM) analog to guide cell adhesion, growth, and differentiation to form skin-functional and structural tissue. The three-dimensional scaffolds can not only cover wound and give a physical barrier against external infection as wound dressing, but also can provide support both for dermal fibroblasts and the overlying keratinocytes for skin tissue engineering. A successful tissue scaffold should exhibit appropriate physical and mechanical characteristics and provide an appropriate surface chemistry and nano and microstructures to facilitate cellular attachment, proliferation, and differentiation. A variety of scaffolds have been fabricated based on materials ranging from naturally occurring ones to those manufactured synthetically. This review discusses a variety of commercial or laboratory-engineered skin substitutes for wound healing. Central to the discussion are the scaffolds/materials, fabrication techniques, and their characteristics associated with wound healing. One specifically highlighted emerging fabrication technique is electrospinning that allows the design and fabrication of biomimetic scaffolds that offer tremendous potential applications in wound healing of skin. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2010 2 510–525

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