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donor site, epidermal graft, split-thickness skin graft, suction blister



  1. Osborne, Sandra N. PhD
  2. Schmidt, Marisa A. BS
  3. Harper, John R. PhD


OBJECTIVE: A new epidermal harvesting tool (CelluTome; Kinetic Concepts, Inc, San Antonio, Texas) created epidermal micrografts with minimal donor site damage, increased expansion ratios, and did not require the use of an operating room. The tool, which applies both heat and suction concurrently to normal skin, was used to produce epidermal micrografts that were assessed for uniform viability, donor-site healing, and discomfort during and after the epidermal harvesting procedure.


DESIGN: This study was a prospective, noncomparative institutional review board-approved healthy human study to assess epidermal graft viability, donor-site morbidity, and patient experience.


SETTING: These studies were conducted at the multispecialty research facility, Clinical Trials of Texas, Inc, San Antonio.


PATIENTS: The participants were 15 healthy human volunteers.


RESULTS: The average viability of epidermal micrografts was 99.5%. Skin assessment determined that 76% to 100% of the area of all donor sites was the same in appearance as the surrounding skin within 14 days after epidermal harvest. A mean pain of 1.3 (on a scale of 1 to 5) was reported throughout the harvesting process.


CONCLUSIONS: Use of this automated, minimally invasive harvesting system provided a simple, low-cost method of producing uniformly viable autologous epidermal micrografts with minimal patient discomfort and superficial donor-site wound healing within 2 weeks.