The influence of microtextured basal lamina analog topography on keratinocyte function and epidermal organization

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2005 Jan 1;72(1):47-56. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.30210.


The rational design of future bioengineered skin substitutes requires an understanding of the mechanisms by which the three-dimensional microarchitecture of tissue scaffolds modulates keratinocyte function. Microtextured basal lamina analogs were developed to investigate the relationship between the characteristic topography at the dermal-epidermal interface of native skin and keratinocyte function. Microfabrication techniques were used to create master patterns, negative replicates, and collagen membranes with ridges and channels of length scales (e.g., grooves of 50-200 microm in depth and width) similar to the invaginations found in basal lamina at the dermal-epidermal junction of native skin. Keratinocytes were seeded on the surfaces of basal lamina analogs, and histological analyses were performed after 7 days of tissue culture at the air-liquid interface. The keratinocytes formed a differentiated and stratified epidermis that conformed to the features of the microtextured membranes. Morphometric analyses of immunostained skin equivalents suggest that keratinocyte stratification and differentiation increases as channel depth increases and channel width decreases. This trend was most pronounced in channels with the highest depth-to-width ratios (i.e., 200 microm deep, 50 microm wide). It is anticipated that the findings from these studies will elucidate design parameters to enhance the performance of future bioengineered skin substitutes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane*
  • Cattle
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Collagen
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology*
  • Skin / cytology
  • Surface Properties
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • Collagen