MicroRNAs in skin tissue engineering.
35.2 million annual cases in the U.S. require clinical intervention for major skin loss. To meet this demand, the field of skin tissue engineering has grown rapidly over the past 40 years. Traditionally, skin tissue engineering relies on the "cell-scaffold-signal" approach, whereby isolated cells are formulated into a three-dimensional substrate matrix, or scaffold, and exposed to the proper molecular, physical, and/or electrical signals to encourage growth and differentiation. However, clinically available bioengineered skin equivalents (BSEs) suffer from a number of drawbacks, including time required to generate autologous BSEs, poor allogeneic BSE survival, and physical limitations such as mass transfer issues. Additionally, different types of skin wounds require different BSE designs. MicroRNA has recently emerged as a new and exciting field of RNA interference that can overcome the barriers of BSE design. MicroRNA can regulate cellular behavior, change the bioactive milieu of the skin, and be delivered to skin tissue in a number of ways. While it is still in its infancy, the use of microRNAs in skin tissue engineering offers the opportunity to both enhance and expand a field for which there is still a vast unmet clinical need. Here we give a review of skin tissue engineering, focusing on the important cellular processes, bioactive mediators, and scaffolds. We further discuss potential microRNA targets for each individual component, and we conclude with possible future applications.
Miller, KJ; Brown, DA; Ibrahim, MM; Ramchal, TD; Levinson, H
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