Living Skin Equivalent Grafts: A New Approach to the Problem of Organ Transplantation,
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE DEPT OF BIOLOGY
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Using living cells and undenatured protein constituents of skin we have fabricated a living skin equivalent which has been used for grafts in an animal model. The grafts persist essentially for the lifetime of the rat host as supple, hair-free regions of skin which inhibit wound contracture. In this report, we review the methodology of fabricating skin equivalent grafts, the responsiveness of the grafted cells to the host environment, the long-term in vivo remodeling of skin equivalent tissues and the persistence of donor cells in the graft. We take up the question of preparing living skin equivalent tissues which can be stored and accepted immunologically and present evidence that grafts made across major histocompatibility barriers are tolerated.