Acute Excisional Wounds Treated with a Tissue-Engineered Skin (Apligraf)


William H. Eaglstein MD , University of Miami, Department of Dermatology, P.O. Box 016250 (R-250), Miami, FL 33101.


Background. Tissue-engineered products are usually composed of living cells and their supporting matrices that have been grown in vitro, using a combination of engineering and life sciences principles. Apligraf is a bilayered product composed of neonatal-derived dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes, and Type I bovine collagen.

Objective. To evaluate in a prospective, multicentered open study, the effects of tissue therapy with a tissue-engineered skin (Apligraf) with partial or full-thickness excisional wounds.

Methods. One hundred and seven patients participated in this study. The tissue-engineered skin was applied once, immediately after excisional surgery, usually for skin cancer, and patients were followed for up to one year.

Results. The safety results were impressive, with no clinical or laboratory evidence of rejection. Clinically, graft persistence was good to excellent in 77 of 105 (73.3%) of patients at one week, falling to 56.6% and 53.6% at two weeks and one month respectively.

Conclusion. To date, this is the largest experience with a tissue-engineered skin product in acute wounds, and this study suggests that tissue therapy may be safe and useful.