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Biodegradable Polysaccharide Gels for Skin Scaffolds

Author(s): Stephen Juris | Anja Mueller | Brian Smith | Samantha Johnston | Robert Walker | Robert Kross

Journal: Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology
ISSN 2158-7027

Volume: 02;
Issue: 03;
Start page: 216;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: hydrogel | polysaccharides | skin scaffold

A variety of skin substitutes are used in the treatment of full-thickness burns. Substitutes made from skin can harbor latent viruses, and artificial skin grafts can heal with extensive scarring, failing to regenerate structures such as glands, nerves, and hair follicles. Biodegradable and biocompatible hydrogels, however, rarely mimic the strength of the epidermis. Therefore, novel and practical skin scaffold materials remain to be developed. Polysaccharides form hydrogels with predicted inherent biocompatibility. This paper describes the preparation and biocompatibility of unique hydrogel skin scaffolds from plant-extracted polysaccharide mixtures of specific sources, types, and molecular weight fractions. These hydrogels have a range of mechanical and degradation properties with the potential to fulfill the multiple, diverse functions of artificial skin, including protection, compatibility with different cell types, biodegradation, and release of needed signals for cell growth and wound healing.
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