Cytotoxicity, Epidermal Barrier Function and Cytokine Evaluation after Antiseptic Treatment in Bioengineered Autologous Skin Substitute

Biomedicines. 2022 Jun 19;10(6):1453. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10061453.


Bioengineered autologous skin substitutes (BASS) technology is an emerging field for skin burn therapy. However, further studies on BASS characterization, viability against standard procedures for wound healing, and protocol optimization are necessary for the improvement of BASS technology for clinical use. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of common antiseptics for clinical use in BASS, focusing on cell viability, inflammatory cytokine pattern, and epithelium and skin barrier integrity, in order to establish the most adequate treatment for wound care after BASS grafting. Human keratinocytes (hKT) and dermal fibroblasts (hDF) were isolated from foreskin samples and integrated into hyaluronic acid-based BASS. The following antiseptics were applied every 48 h: ethanol (70%), chlorhexidine digluconate (1%), sodium hypochlorite (0.02%), povidone iodine (100 mg/mL), and polyhexanide (0.1%), during a follow-up of 16 days. Sodium hypochlorite was the only treatment that showed a high cell viability percentage throughout the evaluation time compared to other antiseptic treatments, as well as a similar cytokine secretion pattern as control BASS. No significant differences were found regarding epidermal barrier function. These findings point towards sodium hypochlorite being the least aggressive antiseptic treatment for BASS post-transplantation wound care.

Keywords: bioengineered autologous skin substitute; cell viability; cytokine secretion; drug development; epidermal barrier function; in vitro model; regenerative medicine; tissue engineering.