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October 20, 1989

Covering Wounds With Cultured Keratinocytes

JAMA. 1989;262(15):2140-2141. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430150108036

One of the marvels of mammalian integument is the ability for wounds to heal. Unfortunately, the time from the onset of the wound until the time of healing may be prolonged and fraught with complications, morbidity, and even death. Disruption of the cutaneous barrier allows the possibility of water and electrolyte aberrations, infection, metabolic disturbances, and immune suppression in addition to short- and long-term pain. In recent years, a number of investigators have sought to develop a therapeutic approach to improving wound closure by using keratinocyte sheets generated from tissue culture. Keratinocytes in culture have the unique ability to proliferate rapidly and to stratify into an epidermal sheet that can be released from the Petri dishes, handled manually, and placed on wound beds. A functional tissue can thereby be generated from a limited number of cells in culture.

Culture-derived tissue is useful for covering wounds because a small 5- to