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Artificial vascularized human skin equivalent

: Heymer, A.; Aubele, S.; Kaufmann, M.; Oddos, T.; Mertsching, H.

Alternatives to animal experimentation : ALTEX 26 (2009), Special Issue, S.117
ISSN: 1868-596X
ISSN: 0946-7785
World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in Life Sciences <7, 2009, Rome>
Fraunhofer IGB ()

The main disadvantage of present skin models is the lack of a blood supply, which is essential for the survival of a graft as well as for the resorption of a test substance. Therefore, in this study the combination of a biological vascularized matrix (BioVaSc) with a skin equivalent was examined. To facilitate the migration of vessels from a repopulated BioVaSc into the skin model, the conditions to build up a monolayer of microvascular endothelial cells (mvEC) at the interface of the skin equivalent and the BioVaSc were established. The optimal cell concentration was ascertained to be 500,000 mvEC per cm2 BioVaSc, resulting in a cell monolayer after 7 days of cultivation. The cells expressed the specific endothelial cell markers CD31 and vWF. The combination of a mvEC-seeded BioVaSc with the dermal component of the skin equivalent showed stable bonding. At day 7, a monolayer of mvECs and in some regions the formation of round cell clusters were observed. However, at day 21 only a few isolated cells could be detected. In contrast, upon combination of the whole skin equivalent, including an epidermal component, with the mvEC-seeded BioVaSc, a cell monolayer without cell clusters was observed at day 21. The cells expressed the specific endothelial cell markers CD31 and vWF. In conclusion, in this study the fabrication of a human skin equivalent on a vascularized matrix with an intermediate functional monolayer of mvECs could be demonstrated. This provides a basis for further approaches inducing angiogenesis in the skin equivalent.