Facial skin injuries can present exceptional challenges for wound repair considering the complexities of the contours of the face and facial movements. Bioengineered skin substitutes have emerged in recent years that can serve as a barrier against microorganisms while promoting wound healing, yet none to-date present geometries tailored to match patient-specific facial contours. Seol et al. report in a recent article a proof-of-concept study exploring the fabrication of a customized, 3D-printed, multi-layered, bioengineered construct for facial skin regeneration, which they call a “BioMask.” A scaled-down human face-shaped construct was 3D-printed based on computed tomography scan data and comprised a porous polyurethane structural support layer, a hydrogel layer laden with human keratinocytes, and a hydrogel layer laden with human fibroblasts. The constructs were applied in an innovative model of wound healing developed in a nude mouse and demonstrated regeneration of skin presenting epidermis and dermis layers and minimal wound contracture over 14 days. The article demonstrates proof-of-concept of applying medical imaging in concert with 3D bioprinting techniques to fabricate customized constructs supportive of facial skin wound repair.
3D Bioprinted BioMask for Facial Skin Reconstruction.s
Seol YJ, Lee H, Copus JS, Kang HW, Cho DW, Atala A, Lee SJ, Yoo JJ. Bioprinting. 2018 Jun;10. pii: e00028. doi: 10.1016/j.bprint.2018.e00028. Epub 2018 Aug 20.