A 3D In Vitro Model for Burn Wounds: Monitoring of Regeneration on the Epidermal Level
Burns affect millions every year and a model to mimic the pathophysiology of such injuries in detail is required to better understand regeneration. The current gold standard for studying burn wounds are animal models, which are under criticism due to ethical considerations and a limited predictiveness. Here, we present a three-dimensional burn model, based on an open-source model, to monitor wound healing on the epidermal level. Skin equivalents were burned, using a preheated metal cylinder. The healing process was monitored regarding histomorphology, metabolic changes, inflammatory response and reepithelialization for 14 days. During this time, the wound size decreased from 25% to 5% of the model area and the inflammatory response (IL-1v, IL-6 and IL-8) showed a comparable course to wounding and healing in vivo. Additionally, the topical application of 5% dexpanthenol enhanced tissue morphology and the number of proliferative keratinocytes in the newly formed epidermis, but did not influence the overall reepithelialization rate. In summary, the model showed a comparable healing process to in vivo, and thus, offers the opportunity to better understand the physiology of thermal burn wound healing on the keratinocyte level.