Optimized strategies for the culture of three dimensional in vitro human skin equivalents

 

Investigator: Lisa Engelhardt (Phd Student at Chair Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM) University Hospital Würzburg)

Lisa Engelhardt

 

Supervisors: Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Aldo R. Boccaccini, Dr. J. Hansmann (TERM), Prof. H. Walles (TERM)

 
Wound healing has been in the spotlight of research for centuries. However, testing of new therapeutic agents still mainly involves animal experiments providing only poor transferability to the situation in the human body. The Translational Center Regenerative Therapies, part of the Fraunhofer ISC Würzburg, and the Chair of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at the University Hospital Würzburg, focus on the progress of human in vitro test systems generated by tissue engineering to reduce the amount of animal experiments needed. This project aims to develop optimized strategies for the culture of three dimensional in vitro human skin equivalents comprising a functional vasculature system using bioreactor technology and impedance spectroscopy as a non-invasive monitoring technique for quality assessment. In one approach, the human skin equivalent is grown on a decellularized porcine matrix in a specially tailored bioreactor system. A second approach tackles the standardized production of skin equivalents by automated casting of a collagen-based dermal component enclosing a vessel system formed by a sacrificial material. The general objective of both strategies is to develop a new in vitro test system, wound healing studies and the testing of new therapeutics being only one possible application thereof.