Human skin equivalents (HSE) are three-dimensional systems that are engineered by seeding fibroblasts into a three-dimensional dermal matrix. After specific culture conditions a HSE is formed that recapitulates most of the in vivo characteristics and in which cellular processes may be normalized compared to the conventional monolayer cultures. HSE are therefore an attractive tool to study cell-cell, cell-matrix, dermal-epidermal interactions and other processes that are involved in epidermal morphogenesis. In addition the HSE are also an excellent tool to mimic diseased skin disorders in vitro (e.g. Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex and Squamous Cell Carcinoma) in order to test therapeutics.
Figure 1: Shown is a (A) and a cross section of the cultured skin (B).
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