Introduction: An artificial complete skin (dermis and epidermis) model has been developed in the Tissue engineering unit of the Centro Comunitario de Sangre y Tejidos del Principado de Asturias (CCST) and CIEMAT. This engineered skin has been employed for the treatment of severe epithelial injuries. In this paper, the clinical results obtained with this engineered skin during the last 18 months were evaluated.
Patients, material and methods: (a) Culture: Cells (fibroblasts and keratinocytes) were obtained from biopsies by a double enzymatic digestion. After an expansion period, fibroblasts were seeded in an artificial dermis based on human plasma. Keratinocytes were seeded over this dermal surface. (b)
Patients: 20 skin biopsies were processed (13 burned patients, 5 giant nevus, 1 GVHD, 1 neurofibromatosis), which came from different hospitals across the country. About 97,525 cm(2) of engineered skin were cultured.
Results: The engineered skin took in all patients. The take percentage depended on previous pathology (burned patients 10-90%; non-critical patients 70-90%). The epithelization obtained was permanent in all cases. During the follow-up period, epithelial loss, blistering injuries or skin retractions were not observed. The aesthetic and functional results were acceptable.
Conclusions: This artificial skin has demonstrated to be useful for the definitive treatment of patients with severe skin injuries. This work shows that it is possible to produce this prototype in an hospitalarian laboratory and distribute it to different hospitals across the country.