Evaluation of the efficacy of cell and micrograft transplantation for full-thickness wound healing

J Surg Res. 2018 Jul;227:35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2018.02.004. Epub 2018 Mar 6.


Background: Skin grafting is the current standard of care in the treatment of full-thickness burns and other wounds. It is sometimes associated with substantial problems, such as poor quality of the healed skin, scarring, and lack of donor-site skin in large burns. To overcome these problems, alternative techniques that could provide larger expansion of a skin graft have been introduced over the years. Particularly, different cell therapies and methods to further expand skin grafts to minimize the need for donor skin have been attempted. The purpose of this study was to objectively evaluate the efficacy of cell and micrograft transplantation in the healing of full-thickness wounds.

Materials and methods: Allogeneic cultured keratinocytes and fibroblasts, separately and together, as well as autologous and allogeneic skin micrografts were transplanted to full-thickness rat wounds, and healing was studied over time. In addition, wound fluid was collected, and the level of various cytokines and growth factors in the wound after transplantation was measured.

Results: Our results showed that both autologous and allogeneic micrografts were efficient treatment modalities for full-thickness wound healing. Allogeneic skin cell transplantation did not result in wound closure, and no viable cells were found in the wound 10 d after transplantation.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that allogeneic micrografting is a possible treatment modality for full-thickness wound healing. The allografts stayed viable in the wound and contributed to both re-epithelialization and formation of dermis, whereas allogeneic skin cell transplantation did not result in wound closure.

Keywords: Cell transplantation; Micrografting; Transplantation; Wound healing.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy / methods*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / transplantation
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / transplantation
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Re-Epithelialization / physiology
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Skin Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Skin Transplantation / methods*
  • Transplantation, Autologous / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing*