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    The construction of intact functional skin is a challenging field in tissue engineering. Traditional skin tissue engineering, using "seed cells" as a bioactive source for scaffolding materials maybe not efficient enough. Here a new strategy is shown for constructing functional tissue-engineered skin with Minimal Functional Unit of Skin (MFUS) as the source of bioactivity. Chitosan/gelatin non-woven fabric is used as the scaffold. MFUS is derived from autologous skin with full-thickness skin microstructure and complete functional skin unit harvesting. A mathematical model is used to calculate the MFUS Minimal Harvest Diameter and Angle (MHDA). Chitosan/gelatin non-woven fabric (CS+GEL) is porous and absorbable, with an elastic modulus meeting the requirement of skin engineering. It supports layered and 3D growth of MFUS. The degradation rate of chitosan, including filament diameter and density is evaluated in vivo. MFUS-engineered skin could reduce the density of local nerve fibers in the early stage, potentially reducing pain during wound healing, as well as could limit excessive fibroblast cell migration in the later stage, potentially reducing scar formation. This study proposes a new strategy for the clinical treatment of large full-thickness skin defects by constructing intact functional at minimal cost. © 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


    Peng Chang, Wenchang Zhang, Mi Wu, Rufei Zou, Xiaoqiang Song, Qian Sun, Junqing Gao, Yan Zhao, Yunhui Liu. Chitosan/Gelatin Composite Nonwoven Fabric Scaffold Seeding Minimal Function Unit of Skin for Functional Skin Regeneration. Macromolecular bioscience. 2022 Mar;22(3):e2100419

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    PMID: 34979051

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