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High Yields of Autologous Living Dermal Equivalents Using Porcine Gelatin Microbeads as Microcarriers for Autologous Fibroblasts

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Permanent skin replacement requires a dermal component to ensure adequate long-term graft stability and to prevent wound contraction. This study was to construct a bioreactor microcarrier cell culture system (Bio-MCCS) to produce autologous living dermal equivalents on a large scale. Autologous fibroblasts were isolated from split-thickness skin biopsy from a leg ulcer patient, inoculated onto macroporous porcine gelatin microbeads, and incubated in a bioreactor (Cellspin) in serum-free fibroblast growth medium or in DMEM medium containing 10% fetal calf serum (FCS). Fibroblasts rapidly adhered to and actively proliferated on the microbeads in the bioreactor in both serum-free and serum-containing medium. MTT assay showed the number of fibroblasts on the microbeads reached up to 5.3- or 4.0-fold the cells seeded in DMEM medium containing 10% FCS or serum-free medium, respectively. When removed from Bio-MCCS and cultured under static conditions, fibroblasts were able to leave the microbeads and proliferate to confluence on the bottom of tissue culture flasks. When stored at room temperature in DMEM containing 10% FBS, fibroblast cultured on the microbeads retained highest viabilities for at least 3 weeks, up to 82% of originals. This Bio-MCCS using porcine gelatin microbeads as carriers for fibroblasts offers a new option of mass production of autologous living dermal equivalents.
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Keywords: Bioreactor; Cell culture; Fibroblast; Microbeads; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Publication date: 01 May 2006

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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