Improved survival of patients with extensive burn injuries requires the development of better techniques for timely and permanent closure of the full-thickness wound. We developed procedures for establishing confluent, stratified layers of cultured, autologous keratinocytes on the surface of a modified collagen-glycosaminoglycan membrane that contains autologous fibroblasts. We transferred the composite grafts onto limited areas of excised full-thickness burn wounds of four patients with extensive burn injuries. Our results indicate that this composite graft material has acceptable "take," with formation of a basement membrane within 9 days of graft placement. Use of this technique for major wound coverage may offer a significant advance in the care of extensively burned patients and also may be useful for providing skin for reconstructive surgery.
Hansbrough JF, Boyce ST, Cooper ML, Foreman TJ. Burn Wound Closure With Cultured Autologous Keratinocytes and Fibroblasts Attached to a Collagen-Glycosaminoglycan Substrate. JAMA. 1989;262(15):2125–2130. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430150093032