Advances in tissue engineering led to the development of various tissue-engineered skin substitutes (TESS) for the treatment of skin injuries. The majority of the autologous TESS required lengthy and costly cell expansion process to fabricate. In this study, we determine the possibility of using a low density of human skin cells suspended in platelet-rich plasma (PRP)-enriched medium to promote the healing of full-thickness skin wounds. To achieve this, full-thickness wounds of size 1.767 cm2 were created at the dorsum part of nude mice and treated with keratinocytes (2 × 104 cells/cm2) and fibroblasts (3 × 104 cells/cm2) suspended in 10% PRP-enriched medium. Wound examination was conducted weekly and the animals were euthanized after 2 weeks. Gross examination showed that re-epithelialization was fastest in the PRP+cells group at both day 7 and 14, followed by the PRP group and NT group receiving no treatment. Only the PRP+cells group achieved complete wound closure by 2 weeks. Epidermal layer was presence in the central region of the wound of the PRP+cells and PRP groups but absence in the NT group. Comparison between the PRP+cells and PRP groups showed that the PRP+cells-treated wound was more mature as indicated by the presence of thinner epidermis with single cell layer thick basal keratinocytes and less cellular dermis. In summary, the combination of low cell density and diluted PRP creates a synergistic effect which expedites the healing of full-thickness wounds. This combination has the potential to be developed as a rapid wound therapy via the direct application of freshly harvested skin cells in diluted PRP.
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