Background: Keratinocyte grafting can be used to treat acute traumatic and chronic non-healing wounds. The keratinocyte sheets are fragile and clinical "take" is difficult to assess, especially as activated keratinocytes secrete many growth factors, which have effects on wound healing apart from take. We have developed animal models of grafting that allow us to examine factors influencing autologous keratinocyte graft take. Results show clearly that pretreatment of the wound bed with viable dermis greatly increases the take of keratinocyte grafts.
Data sources: International literature.
Conclusions: As a greater understanding of the complex interactions of cell and matrix evolve, so will potential therapeutic maneuvers, not just in the field of cultured keratinocyte grafts, but clearly in that of benign tumors, for example, keloids, and that of oncology. There is now overwhelming evidence of the requirement for a dermal substitute for cultured keratinocyte autografts, and the sheet complexity of the situation demands that this should approximate live human dermis as closely as possible. The stumbling blocks relate to avoiding the risks of viral transmission, tissue matching of host and donor, providing early epithelial cover, and improving delivery systems for fragile keratinocyte grafts.