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tissue engineering, bilayered skin substitute, self-assembly skin substitute, chronic venous ulcers and mixed ulcers



  1. Boa, Olivier MD
  2. Cloutier, Chanel Beaudoin MD
  3. Genest, Herve MD
  4. Labbe, Raymond MD
  5. Rodrigue, Bertrand MD
  6. Soucy, Jacques MD
  7. Roy, Michel MD
  8. Arsenault, Frederic MD
  9. Ospina, Carlos E. MD
  10. Dube, Nathalie MSc
  11. Rochon, Marie-Helene MSc
  12. Larouche, Danielle PhD
  13. Moulin, Veronique J. PhD
  14. Germain, Lucie PhD
  15. Auger, Francois A. MD


BACKGROUND: Despite present optimal standard treatment of lower-extremity ulceration, a high incidence of recurrence and treatment failure is observed. The objective of this project was to evaluate the effect of a self-assembled skin substitute (SASS) made by tissue engineering as a temporary cutaneous dressing in the treatment of hard-to-heal chronic ulcers.


PATIENTS AND METHODS: The prospective uncontrolled case study includes patients suffering from venous or mixed ulcers lasting more than 6 months and unresponsive to compression therapy, with an Ankle Brachial Index greater than 0.5. Compression therapy was combined with the weekly application of SASS, produced from the patient's own skin cells, until healing. A weekly follow-up recorded wound size, skin aspect, pain, drainage, and percentage of wound healing. Photographs were also taken to assess ulcer evolution.


RESULTS: Fourteen ulcers present on 5 patients were treated. A mean of 6.7 SASS depositions by ulcer was required for healing. Two ulcers developed a minor wound infection, which was treated with oral antibiotics; another 2 ulcers recurred, and 1 healed with a second course of treatment, whereas 1 ulcer had a small recurrence treated with local wound care.


CONCLUSION: The authors' study suggests that the SASS used as a biological dressing is a promising treatment for hard-to-heal chronic venous and mixed ulcers that are unresponsive to compression therapy.