Science, Practice and education regenerative medicine in burn wound healing: Aiming for the perfect skin

Magda M.W. Ulrich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The healing of full thickness wounds such as burn wounds remains complicated by hypertrophic scar formation and contraction. The standard treatment is transplantation with autologous split thickness skin grafts. For extensive burns, these grafts are widely meshed due to limited donor sites, which often results in a poor functional and cosmetic outcome. The application of cultured autologous keratinocytes may enhance wound closure and improve scars.

The first epidermal substitute, a confluent epithelial sheet, was developed in 1979. These cultured epidermal autografts (CEA) have been used in burn patients with variable success. Due to the variation in the efficacy of CEAs, however, new strategies have been employed. Currently, the application of preconfluent proliferating keratinocytes is considered a better strategy for burn wound treatment.

In addition to improvements in epidermal grafts, the healing outcome may improve with the application of dermal substitutes. Over the past several decades, several scaffolds have been developed to mimic the dermis. These substitutes can be supplemented with growth factors and cells. In particular, the application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is thought to be a promising perspective for cell-based tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-27
Number of pages3
JournalEWMA Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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