In Situ Bioprinting of Autologous Skin Cells Accelerates Wound Healing of Extensive Excisional Full-Thickness Wounds

Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 12;9(1):1856. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-38366-w.


The early treatment and rapid closure of acute or chronic wounds is essential for normal healing and prevention of hypertrophic scarring. The use of split thickness autografts is often limited by the availability of a suitable area of healthy donor skin to harvest. Cellular and non-cellular biological skin-equivalents are commonly used as an alternative treatment option for these patients, however these treatments usually involve multiple surgical procedures and associated with high costs of production and repeated wound treatment. Here we describe a novel design and a proof-of-concept validation of a mobile skin bioprinting system that provides rapid on-site management of extensive wounds. Integrated imaging technology facilitated the precise delivery of either autologous or allogeneic dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes directly into an injured area, replicating the layered skin structure. Excisional wounds bioprinted with layered autologous dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes in a hydrogel carrier showed rapid wound closure, reduced contraction and accelerated re-epithelialization. These regenerated tissues had a dermal structure and composition similar to healthy skin, with extensive collagen deposition arranged in large, organized fibers, extensive mature vascular formation and proliferating keratinocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioprinting / methods*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Collagen / chemistry
  • Epidermal Cells / cytology
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Proof of Concept Study
  • Re-Epithelialization
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Skin, Artificial
  • Swine
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Wound Healing*


  • Hydrogels
  • Collagen