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Keywords:

  • biomaterial;
  • dermal equivalent;
  • myofibroblasts;
  • rigidity

Background/aims

Different models of reconstructed skin are available, either to provide skin wound healing when this process is deficient, or to be used as an in vitro model. Nevertheless, few studies have focused on the mechanical properties of skin equivalent. Indeed, human skin is naturally under tension. Taking into account these features, the purpose of this work was to obtain a cellularized dermal equivalent (CDE), composed of collagen and dermal fibroblasts.

Methods

To counteract the natural retraction of CDE and to maintain it under tension, different biomaterials were tested. Selection criteria were biocompatibility, bioadhesion properties, ability to induce differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts and mechanical characterization, considering that of skin in vivo. These assays led to the selection of honeycomb of polyester. CDE constructed on this biomaterial was further characterized mechanically using tensile tests.

Results

The results showed that mechanical features of the obtained dermal equivalent, including myofibroblasts, were similar to skin in vivo.

Conclusion

The original model of dermal equivalent presented herein may be a useful tool for clinical use and as an in vitro model for toxicological/pharmacological research.