Biohydrogels for the In Vitro Re-construction and In Situ Regeneration of Human Skin
Natural and synthetic biohydrogels are of great interest for the development of innovative medicinal and cosmetic products feasible for the treatment of numerous skin diseases and age-related changes in skin structure and function. Here, the characteristics of bio-resorbable hydrogels as scaffolds for the in vitro re-construction of temporary skin substitutes or full skin equivalents for further transplantation are reviewed. Another fast developing area of regenerative medicine is the in situ regeneration of human skin. The approach is mainly applicable to activate and facilitate the skin regeneration process and angiogenesis in chronic wounds with impaired healing. In this case, extracellular matrix resembling polymers are used to stimulate cell growth, adhesion, and movement. Better results could be achieved by activation of biocompatible hydrogels either with proteins (growth factors, adhesion molecules or/and cytokines) or with allogenic skin cells producing and releasing these molecules. Hydrogels are widely applied as carriers of low molecular weight substances with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, and wound healing action. Incorporation of these substances into hydrogels enhances their penetration through the skin barrier and prevents their destruction by oxidation. Potential roles of hydrogel-based products for modern dermatology and cosmetology are also discussed.
KeywordsTissue Engineering Hyaluronic Acid Skin Permeation Skin Substitute Skin Equivalent
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