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Biobanked human foreskin epithelial cell sheets reduce inflammation and promote wound healing in a nude mouse model

  • Zhang, Dongliang1
  • Shao, Jialiang1
  • Zhuang, Jingming2
  • Zhou, Shukui3
  • Yin, Shuo4
  • Wu, Fuyue4
  • Hou, Jiangang2
  • Wang, Xiang1
  • 1 Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China , Shanghai (China)
  • 2 Huashan Hospital, FuDan University, Shanghai, China , Shanghai (China)
  • 3 University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China , Chengdu (China)
  • 4 Remed Regenerative Medicine Clinical Application Institute, Shanghai, China , Shanghai (China)
Published Article
BMC Biotechnology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Feb 02, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12896-021-00672-z
Springer Nature


BackgroundHuman epithelial cell sheets (ECSs) are used to clinically treat epithelial conditions such as burns, corneal blindness, middle ear cholesteatoma and vitiligo. As a widely used material in clinic, there is little information on the biobanking of ECSs and its repair effect after storage.ResultsTwo methods for biobanking foreskin ECSs were compared in a short term (7 days): 4-degree storage and programmed cryopreservation. Cell sheet integrity, viability, apoptosis, immunogenicity, mechanical properties and function were evaluated. In vivo, ECSs were directly transplanted to skin defect models and histological examination was performed at 1 week postoperatively. We successfully extracted human foreskin-derived primary epithelial cells and fabricated them into ECSs. Compared with 4-degree storage, programmed cryopreservation preserved the ECS structural integrity, enhanced the mechanical properties, decreased HLA-I expression, and increased cell viability and survival. An increased proportion of melanocytes with proliferative capacity remained in the cryopreserved sheets, and the undifferentiated epithelial cells were comparable to those of the fresh sheets. In vivo, cryopreserved ECSs could reduce inflammatory cell infiltration and promote connective tissue remodeling, epithelial cell proliferation and vascular regeneration.ConclusionsProgrammed cryopreservation of ECSs was superior and more feasible than 4-degree storage and the cryopreserved ECSs achieved satisfying skin wound healing in vivo. We anticipate that the off-the-shelf ECSs could be quickly used, such as, to repair human epithelial defect in future.Graphical abstract

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