Posted on Dec 02, 2009, 6 a.m.
European researchers use stem cell to produce viable epidermal cell suitable for skin grafts.
In that cell therapy for large burns involves a lengthy process by which a patient’s own skin cells are grown in the laboratory to replace damaged skin, Hind Guenou, from INSERM (France), and colleagues have developed a technique by which they have produced skin grafts from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), which employs a 40-day long pharmacological treatment that drives the stem cells to form a group of cells that functioned collectively as an epidermis. After grafting the cells onto mice, the cells formed a structure consistent with human skin. The researchers conclude that: “hESCs can be differentiated into basal keratinocytes that are fully functional—ie, able to construct a pluristratified epidermis. This resource could be developed to provide temporary skin substitutes for patients awaiting autologous grafts.”
Hind Guenou, Xavier Nissan, Fernando Larcher, Jessica Feteira, Gilles Lemaitre, Manoubia Saidani, et al. “Human embryonic stem-cell derivatives for full reconstruction of the pluristratified epidermis: a preclinical study.” The Lancet, Vol. 374 No. 9703 pp. 1745-1753, Nov. 21, 2009.