Skin Tissue Engineering Advances in Burns: A Brief Introduction to the Past, the Present, and the Future Potential

J Burn Care Res. 2023 Jan 2;44(Supplement_1):S1-S4. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irac127.


Burn injuries are a severe form of skin damage with a significant risk of scarring and systemic sequelae. Approximately 11 million individuals worldwide suffer burn injuries annually, with 180,000 people dying due to their injuries. Wound healing is considered the main determinant for the survival of severe burns and remains a challenge. The surgical treatment of burn wounds entails debridement of necrotic tissue, and the wound is covered with autologous skin substitutes taken from healthy donor areas. Autologous skin transplantation is still considered to be the gold standard for wound repair. However, autologous skin grafts are not always possible, especially in cases with extensive burns and limited donor sites. Allografts from human cadaver skin and xenografts from pig skin may be used in these situations to cover the wounds temporarily. Alternatively, dermal analogs are used until permanent coverage with autologous skin grafts or artificial skins can be achieved, requiring staged procedures to prolong the healing times with the associated risks of local and systemic infection. Over the last few decades, the wound healing process through tissue-engineered skin substitutes has significantly enhanced as the advances in intensive care ensuring early survival have led to the need to repair large skin defects. The focus has shifted from survival to the quality of survival, necessitating accelerated wound repair. This special volume of JBCR is dedicated to the discoveries, developments, and applications leading the reader into the past, present, and future perspectives of skin tissue engineering in burn injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Burns* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin Transplantation / methods
  • Skin, Artificial*
  • Swine
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Wound Healing