Artificial tissue helps healthy skin grow

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Tissue grafts that promote vascular growth could hasten wound healing, encourage healthy skin to invade the wounded area and reduce the need for surgeries, investigators at Cornell University recently showed.

Abraham Stroock, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Cornell, collaborated with Jason A. Spector, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, and an interdisciplinary team of Ithaca and Weill scientists.

The biomaterials are composed of experimental tissue scaffolds that are about the size of a dime and have the consistency of tofu. They are made of a material called type 1 collagen, which is a well-regulated biomaterial. The templates were fabricated with tools at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility to contain networks of microchannels that promote and direct growth of healthy tissue into wound sites.

“The challenge was how to promote vascular growth and to keep this newly forming tissue alive and healthy as it heals and becomes integrated into the host,” Stroock said.

The research was published online May 6 in the journal Biomaterials.
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