A new cell-free bandage-type artificial skin for cutaneous wounds
Engineered skin substitutes are widely used in skin wound management. However, no currently available products satisfy all the criteria of usability in emergency situations, easy handling, and minimal scar formation. To overcome these shortcomings, we designed a cell-free bandage-type artificial skin, named “VitriBand” (VB), using adhesive film dressing, silicone-coated polyethylene terephthalate film, and collagen xerogel membrane defined as a dried collagen vitrigel membrane without free water. We analyzed its advantages over in-line products by comparing VB with hydrocolloid dressing and collagen sponge. For evaluation, mice inflicted with full-thickness skin defects were treated with VB, hydrocolloid dressing, and collagen sponge. A plastic film group treated only with adhesive film dressing and silicone-coated polyethylene terephthalate film, and a no treatment group were also compared. VB promoted epithelization while inhibiting the emergence of myofibroblasts and inflammation in the regenerating tissue more effectively than the plastic film, hydrocolloid dressing, and collagen sponge products. We have succeeded in establishing a cell-free bandage-type artificial skin that could serve as a promising first-line medical biomaterial for emergency treatment of skin injuries in various medical situations.