Our objective is to determine the quality of tissue engineered human skin via immunostaining, RT-PCR and electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). Culture-expanded human keratinocytes and fibroblasts were used to construct bilayer tissue-engineered skin. The in vitro skin construct was cultured for 5 days and implanted on the dorsum of athymic mice for 30 days. Immunostaining of the in vivo skin construct appeared positive for monoclonal mouse anti-human cytokeratin, anti-human involucrin and anti-human collagen type I. RT-PCR analysis revealed loss of the expression for keratin type 1, 10 and 5 and re-expression of keratin type 14, the marker for basal keratinocytes cells in normal skin. SEM showed fibroblasts proliferating in the 5 days in vitro skin. TEM of the in vivo skin construct showed an active fibrocyte cell secreting dense collagen fibrils. We have successfully constructed bilayer tissue engineered human skin that has similar features to normal human skin.
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