Skin Substitutes and Wound HealingAuger F.A. · Lacroix D. · Germain L.
Laboratoire d’Organogénèse Expérimentale (LOEX), Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement du CHA and Department of Surgery, Laval University, Québec, Qué., Canada.
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Medical science has vastly improved on the means and methods available for the treatment of wounds in the clinic. The production and use of various types of skin substitutes has led to dramatic improvements in the odds of survival for severely burned patients, but they have also shown promise for many other applications, including cases involving chronic wounds that are not life threatening. Nowadays, more than 20 products are commercially available, more are undergoing clinical trials and a large number of new models are being investigated in various research laboratories worldwide. Many of the current products do not contain any living cells and vary in their capacity to harness the innate capacity of the body to heal itself. Others include living cells, of allogeneic or autologous origin, and are often referred to as ‘cellular therapy’ or ‘tissue-engineered’ products. Modifications and improvements are currently investigated that aim at improving the healing potential of those products through the use of recombinant growth factors and additional features such as microvascularization. Fundamental research into wound healing and scar-free regeneration raises the hope that we will eventually be able to restore almost completely the appearance and function of skin after the healing of wounds.
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