Quantitative analysis of the microvasculature growing in the fibrin interface between a skin graft and the recipient site.
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Current tissue engineering techniques have failed to provide an established microvasculature in skin substitutes, a requisite for the maintenance of graft viability and rapid revascularization subsequent to graft transplantation in vivo. To improve outcomes for both conventional skin grafts and skin substitutes, the existing knowledge gap concerning the spatio-temporal mechanisms of skin graft revascularization must be abrogated. The current knowledge gap is due, at least in part, to a lack of appropriate diagnostic methods to quantify skin graft revascularization. To enhance the understanding of skin graft revascularization, we quantitatively evaluated revascularization of autologous skin grafts in a rat model by quantifying 2- and 3-dimensional vascular metrics in the fibrin interface 3, 7, and 10 days after transplantation. In this study, the fibrin interface appeared to be completely replaced with fibrovascular tissue by postoperative day 10. Although the mean vessel diameter was about 10 mum for the time points sampled, the mean vessel number, area, and volume fraction increased about 2.5-fold from postoperative day 3 to 7 and then decreased about 1.27-fold at postoperative day 10. There was no significant difference between 2- and 3-dimensional vascular metrics based on Bland-Altman analysis. In conclusion, these data establish a standard for metrics of vessels growing in the fibrin interface of a rat autologous skin graft and its donor site and suggests that once the blood supply has been restored to a viable transplant, the number, area, and volume fractions of vessels decrease to levels found at postoperative day 3.
author list (cited authors)
Wu, X., Kathuria, N., Patrick, C. W., & Reece, G. P.
complete list of authors
Wu, Xuemei||Kathuria, Neil||Patrick, Charles W||Reece, Gregory P