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J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 547-563; doi:10.3390/jfb6030547

Advances in Skin Substitutes—Potential of Tissue Engineered Skin for Facilitating Anti-Fibrotic Healing

Wound Healing Research Group, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Alberta, 2D3.81 WMSHC, 8440-112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7, Canada
Critical Care Medicine, University of Alberta, 2D3.81 WMSHC, 8440-112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Puoci
Received: 8 May 2015 / Revised: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 30 June 2015 / Published: 9 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [612 KB, uploaded 9 July 2015]   |  


Skin protects the body from exogenous substances and functions as a barrier to fluid loss and trauma. The skin comprises of epidermal, dermal and hypodermal layers, which mainly contain keratinocytes, fibroblasts and adipocytes, respectively, typically embedded on extracellular matrix made up of glycosaminoglycans and fibrous proteins. When the integrity of skin is compromised due to injury as in burns the coverage of skin has to be restored to facilitate repair and regeneration. Skin substitutes are preferred for wound coverage when the loss of skin is extensive especially in the case of second or third degree burns. Different kinds of skin substitutes with different features are commercially available; they can be classified into acellular skin substitutes, those with cultured epidermal cells and no dermal components, those with only dermal components, and tissue engineered substitutes that contain both epidermal and dermal components. Typically, adult wounds heal by fibrosis. Most organs are affected by fibrosis, with chronic fibrotic diseases estimated to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. In the skin, fibroproliferative disorders such as hypertrophic scars and keloid formation cause cosmetic and functional problems. Dermal fibroblasts are understood to be heterogeneous; this may have implications on post-burn wound healing since studies have shown that superficial and deep dermal fibroblasts are anti-fibrotic and pro-fibrotic, respectively. Selective use of superficial dermal fibroblasts rather than the conventional heterogeneous dermal fibroblasts may prove beneficial for post-burn wound healing. View Full-Text
Keywords: skin substitutes; tissue engineering; wound healing; fibrosis skin substitutes; tissue engineering; wound healing; fibrosis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Varkey, M.; Ding, J.; Tredget, E.E. Advances in Skin Substitutes—Potential of Tissue Engineered Skin for Facilitating Anti-Fibrotic Healing. J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6, 547-563.

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J. Funct. Biomater. EISSN 2079-4983 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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