Improving skin regeneration through an improved Skin2 biosynthetic skin substitute

Project PTDC/BTM-MAT/31470/2017

Research on wound healing, Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM) has led to the development of many products for the treatment of acute skin lesions (like burns) or chronic wounds (like ulcers). However, the fact that autografting remains the gold standard in the treatment of severe wounds is elucidative of the poor cost/performance ratio of commercially available tissue engineered skin substitutes.

In the context of the "Skin2: a biosynthetic second skin, engineered to treat severe burn wounds" project (PTDC/ SAU-BMA/109886/2009) we started to develop a new whole-skin substitute. Our results [Gomes13, Gomes15, GomesPhD13, EspigaPhD14, Gomes17] have shown our approach to be effective in promoting healing of full thickness skin excisions in the Wistar rat, confirming our initial expectations on the performance of the Skin2 substitute, despite it not having been fully developed nor tested yet.

The current project aims at perfecting the Skin2 substitute, seeking answers to some main questions and characterizing the substitute regarding several design and operational characteristics.

This project will be carried out by researchers belonging several research centres: CenimatIi3N and UCIBio, both evaluated as Exceptional, and iNOVA4Health/CEDOC, evaluated as Excellent. Furthermore, the project will have the collaboration of Prof Lucie Bacakova and her team at the Department of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Institute of Physiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic, as well as the participation of Prof Dimitrios I. Zeugolis, director of the Regenerative, Modular & Developmental Engineering Laboratory (REMODEL) of the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, and his team at the Centre for Research in Medical Devices, NUI Galway. This multifaceted and international team ensures the human and material resources indispensable for an ambitious project like this one to attain all its goals.

This project is financed by funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P./MCTES through national funds (PIDDAC) and by the Regional Operational Program of Lisbon, in the FEFER component.