A review of a bi-layered living cell treatment (Apligraf) in the treatment of venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers

Clin Interv Aging. 2007;2(1):93-8. doi: 10.2147/ciia.2007.2.1.93.


Apligraf (Organogenesis, Canton, MA) is a bi-layered bioengineered skin substitute and was the first engineered skin US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved to promote the healing of ulcers that have failed standard wound care. Constructed by culturing human foreskin-derived neonatal fibroblasts in a bovine type I collagen matrix over which human foreskin-derived neonatal epidermal keratinocytes are then cultured and allowed to stratify, Apligraf provides both cells and matrix for the nonhealing wound. Its exact mechanism of action is not known, but it is known to produce cytokines and growth factors similar to healthy human skin. Initially approved by the FDA in 1998 for the treatment of venous ulcers greater than one-month duration that have not adequately responded to conventional therapy, Apligraf later received approval in 2000 for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers of greater than three weeks duration. Herein, we review the use of Apligraf in the treatment of chronic venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers. Our goal is to provide a working understanding of appropriate patient selection and proper use of the product for any physician treating this segment of the aging population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Collagen / chemistry
  • Collagen / economics
  • Collagen / pharmacology*
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Foot Ulcer / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Varicose Ulcer / therapy*


  • Apligraf
  • Collagen