Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering (TE) have experienced significant advances in the development of in vitro engineered skin substitutes, either for replacement of lost tissue in skin injuries or for the generation of in vitro human skin models to research. However, currently available skin substitutes present different limitations such as expensive costs, abnormal skin microstructure and engraftment failure. Given these limitations, new technologies, based on advanced therapies and regenerative medicine, have been applied to develop skin substitutes with several pharmaceutical applications that include injectable cell suspensions, cell-spray devices, sheets or 3Dscaffolds for skin tissue regeneration and others. Clinical practice for skin injuries has evolved to incorporate these innovative applications to facilitate wound healing, improve the barrier function of the skin, prevent infections, manage pain and even to ameliorate long-term aesthetic results. In this article, we review current commercially available skin substitutes for clinical use, as well as the latest advances in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications used to design advanced therapies and medical products for wound healing and skin regeneration. We highlight the current progress in clinical trials for wound healing as well as the new technologies that are being developed and hold the potential to generate skin substitutes such as 3D bioprinting-based strategies.
© 2018 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.