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Open Access Use of a Collagen‐Elastin Matrix as Transport Carrier System to Transfer Proliferating Epidermal Cells to Human Dermis In Vitro

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This in vitro study describes a novel cell culture, transport, and transfer protocol that may be highly suitable for delivering cultured proliferating keratinocytes and melanocytes to large open skin wounds (e.g., burns). We have taken into account previous limitations identified using other keratinocyte transfer techniques, such as regulatory issues, stability of keratinocytes during transport (single cell suspensions undergo terminal differentiation), ease of handling during application, and the degree of epidermal blistering resulting after transplantation (both related to transplanting keratinocyte sheets). Large numbers of proliferating epidermal cells (EC) (keratinocytes and melanocytes) were generated within 10‐14 days and seeded onto a three-dimensional matrix composed of elastin and collagen types I, III, and V (Matriderm┬«), which enabled easy and stable transport of the EC for up to 24 h under ambient conditions. All culture conditions were in accordance with the regulations set by the Dutch Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO). As an in vitro model system for clinical in vivo transfer, the EC were then transferred from Matriderm onto human acellular dermis during a period of 3 days. After transfer the EC maintained the ability to regenerate into a fully differentiated epidermis containing melanocytes on the human dermis. Proliferating keratinocytes were located in the basal layer and keratin-10 expression was located in differentiating suprabasal layers similar to that found in human epidermis. No blistering was observed (separation of the epidermis from the basement membrane). Keratin-6 expression was strongly upregulated in the regenerating epidermis similar to normal wound healing. In summary, we show that EC-Matriderm contains viable, metabolically active keratinocytes and melanocytes cultured in a manner that permits easy transportation and contains epidermal cells with the potential to form a pigmented reconstructed epidermis. This in vitro study has produced a robust protocol that is ready for clinical studies in the future.

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Keywords: Burns; Keratinocyte; Melanocyte; Transfer; Wound healing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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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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