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Development, Characterization, and Use of a Fetal Skin Cell Bank for Tissue Engineering in Wound Healing

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Wound healing in fetal skin is characterized by the absence of scar tissue formation, which is not dependent on the intrauterine environment and amniotic fluid. Fetal cells have the capacity of extraordinary expansion and we describe herein the development of a fetal skin cell bank where from one organ donation (2–4 cm2) it is possible to produce several hundred million fetal skin constructs of 9 × 12 cm2. Fetal cells grow three to four times more rapidly than older skin cells cultured in the same manner and these banked fetal cells are very resistant against physical and oxidative stress when compared to adult skin cells under the same culture conditions. They are up to three times more resistant to UVA radiation and two times more resistant towards hydrogen peroxide treatment. This mechanism may be of major importance for fetal cells when they are delivered to hostile wound environments. For fetal cell delivery to patients, cells were associated with a collagen matrix to form a three-dimensional construct in order to analyze the capacity of these cells for treating various wounds. We have seen that fetal cells can modify the repair response of skin wounds by accelerating the repair process and reducing scarring in severe burns and wounds of various nature in children. Hundreds of thousands of patients could potentially be treated for acute and chronic wounds from one standardized and controlled cell bank.

Keywords: Fetal cell therapy; Oxidative stress; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland 2: Orthopedic Cell Therapy Unit, University Hospital Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland 3: Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland 4: Department of Pathology, Cantonal Hospital, Lucern, Switzerland

Publication date: August 1, 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.

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