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Dermo-epithelial skin grafts prevascularized with functional lymphatic and blood capillaries

Autologous skin substitutes supported by a functional lymphatic and blood vasculature could be used to improve transplant success after dermal injury. Coculturing of human keratinocytes, blood endothelial cells and lymphatic endothelial cells with fibroblasts in fibrin- or collagen-containing hydrogels reconstituted a skin graft containing blood and lymphatic vessels. When transplanted onto the wounded backs of immunodeficient rats, the grafts gave rise to a stratified epidermis with blood and lymphatic microvessels that functionally integrated with host microvessels. Next steps include preclinical testing of the prevascularized skin grafts in immunocompetent large animal models to evaluate toxicity and efficacy.

SciBX 7(8); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.238
Published online Feb. 27, 2014

Patent application filed; not yet available for licensing

Marino, D. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online Jan. 29, 2014;
Contact: Ernst Reichmann, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland