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Open AccessArticle

Biomimetic In Vitro Model of Cell Infiltration into Skin Scaffolds for Pre-Screening and Testing of Biomaterial-Based Therapies

1
Regenerative Biomaterials Group, RAFT Institute, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood HA6 2RN, UK
2
Biology Department, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(8), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8080917
Received: 17 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
Due to great clinical need, research where different biomaterials are tested as 3D scaffolds for skin tissue engineering has increased. In vitro studies use a cell suspension that is simply pipetted onto the material and cultured until the cells migrate and proliferate within the 3D scaffold, which does not mimic the in vivo reality. Our aim was to engineer a novel biomimetic in vitro model that mimics the natural cell infiltration process occurring in wound healing, thus offering a realistic approach when pre-screening and testing new skin substitutes. Our model consists of porous membrane cell culture inserts coated with gelatin and seeded with human dermal fibroblasts, inside which two different commercially available dermal substitutes were placed. Several features relevant to the wound healing process (matrix contraction, cell infiltration and proliferation, integration of the biomaterial with the surrounding tissue, and secretion of exogenous cytokines and growth factors) were evaluated. Our results showed that cells spontaneously infiltrate the materials and that our engineered model is able to induce and detect subtle differences between different biomaterials. The model allows for room for improvements or “adds-on” and miniaturization and can contribute to the development of functional and efficient skin substitutes for burns and chronic wounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: cell infiltration; biomimetic; wound healing; tissue engineering; skin substitute; biomaterial cell infiltration; biomimetic; wound healing; tissue engineering; skin substitute; biomaterial
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Ballesteros-Cillero, R.; Davison-Kotler, E.; Kohli, N.; Marshall, W.S.; García-Gareta, E. Biomimetic In Vitro Model of Cell Infiltration into Skin Scaffolds for Pre-Screening and Testing of Biomaterial-Based Therapies. Cells 2019, 8, 917.

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