In vitro 3D full-thickness skin-equivalent tissue model using silk and collagen biomaterials

Macromol Biosci. 2012 Dec;12(12):1627-36. doi: 10.1002/mabi.201200262. Epub 2012 Nov 19.


Current approaches to skin equivalents often only include the epidermis and dermis. Here, a full-thickness skin equivalent is described including epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis, that could serve as an in vitro model for studying skin biology or as a platform for consumer product testing. The construct is easy to handle and is maintained for >14 d while expressing physiological morphologies of the epidermis and dermis, seen by keratin 10, collagens I and IV expression. The skin equivalent produces glycerol and leptin, markers of adipose metabolism. This work serves as a foundation for understanding a few necessary factors needed to develop a stable, functional model of full-thickness skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Animal Testing Alternatives / methods*
  • Collagen / chemistry*
  • DNA Primers
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Histological Techniques
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Silk / chemistry*
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Tissue Culture Techniques*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • DNA Primers
  • Silk
  • Collagen