Tissue-Engineered Skin

Development of Multilayered Tissue-Engineered Skin Construct.

Lead: Region Östergötland

Involved Partners: Region Västerbotten, Umeå University, GE Healthcare, Cellink AB, Linköping University and cooperation with KI and SLL/Vecura.

The project aims at the creation of a multilayered skin construct, based on the patient’s own stem cells, as a future line of management for burn victims.

Examples of tasks and actions:

We divided our project into different phases.
The first phase involves enhancing the differentiation of the stem cells into keratinocytes. We established our protocols to isolate keratinocytes, fibroblasts and adipogenic derived stem cells from full thickness skin biopsies. We are using the primary keratinocytes as positive controls and testing different culturing conditions to enhance the differentiation of the stem cells into keratinocyte-like cells. The fibroblasts are maintained for the next phase of the project.

Phase two involves culturing the keratinocyte-like cells on the top of multilayered of fibroblasts and investigate the shortest time and most efficient conditions for the maturation of the construct into the skin architecture.

In phase three, the most efficient protocol will be replicated using the bio-printing technique. We will compare the properties of the final product of the timesaving bio-printing to the self-assembly approach as described above.

Phase four will involve in vivo testing of the selected protocol in a large animal model of skin wound.

Interview with project leader

Hi Folke Sjöberg!

What is the need your project addresses?

Many burn victims have extensive skin loss, which is difficult to be covered with the classical approach of skin grafting. In addition, the graft donor site is associated with the creation of a secondary wound.

Similarly, many patients have skin ulcers as a consequence of diabetes or venous insufficiency, which need a skin alternative to promote healing.

With the current treatment options, we can face some clinical situation of delayed or non healing or even death due to secondary complications.

What is your approach to meet the need?

We aim at establishing a three dimensional skin construct in our lab that is based on the patient’s cells. This construct can be transferred to the patient in a suitable timeframe to enhance the healing process.

How will this improve Sweden´s capabilities within ATMPs?

Establishing this construct according to the good manufacturing process guidelines would provide a novel advanced therapy for patients with skin defects.

For more information on this Project please Contact Folke Sjöberg