Guided Regeneration of the Human Skin : in vitro and in vivo studies

Sammanfattning: Every day and in all parts of the world, humans experience different grades of wounding and tissue loss of the skin, thus initiating one of the most complex biological processes. Acute and chronic wounds, as well as the additional problem of skin scarring, involve not only great suffering for the patient but also extensive health care costs for the society. Although the wound-healing process is a wellstudied field much knowledge must be gained to unlock the door to regenerative pathways in humans.Epidermis heals by complete regeneration, but dermal and full thickness injuries heal with fibrosis and scar formation. In Papers I and II, we studied whether dermal scarring could be turned into regeneration by using two different types of threedimensional dermal scaffolds. In Paper I, we studied a solid scaffold made of poly(urethane urea), initially in vitro then followed by in vivo studies. In Paper II, we intradermally injected a liquid three-dimensional scaffold consisting of porous gelatin spheres in human healthy volunteers. Both materials showed ingrowth of functional fibroblasts and blood vessels and appeared to stimulate regeneration while slowly degrading. This finding could be of significant clinical importance, for example in burn wound care or after cancer surgery.In Papers III and IV, we wanted to study the effects of amniotic fluid and hyaluronic acid on adult wound healing, because early fetal wounds re-epithelialize rapidly and naturally heal dermis by regeneration without the need of a dermal scaffold. Amniotic fluid, naturally rich in hyaluronic acid, induced an accelerated reepithelialization of adult human wounds in vitro, and hyaluronic acid seemed to be important for this effect. Stimulation with exogenous hyaluronic acid in vivo induced accelerated re-epithelialization and an altered protein expression in healthy human volunteers. The inflammatory phase of wound healing, as measured by tissue viability imaging, was not affected by hyaluronic acid. Elucidating the effects of amniotic fluid and hyaluronic acid on the wound-healing process may allow improved treatment of wounds with impaired healing.Studies on finding new dermal scaffolds and studies on the positive effect of amniotic fluid or hyaluronic acid on the wound-healing process are two different ways of gaining insight that may lead to regeneration and improved wound healing for the patient.