Requisite instruments for the establishment of three-dimensional epidermal human skin equivalents—A methods review

Christianna Marie Czyz*, Paul Werner Kunth*, Florian Gruber, Christopher Kremslehner, Christoph Matthias Hammers, Jennifer Elisabeth Hundt

*Corresponding author for this work


Human skin equivalents (HSEs) are three-dimensional skin organ culture models raised in vitro. This review gives an overview of common techniques for setting up HSEs. The HSE consists of an artificial dermis and epidermis. 3T3-J2 murine fibroblasts, purchased human fibroblasts or freshly isolated and cultured fibroblasts, together with other components, for example, collagen type I, are used to build the scaffold. Freshly isolated and cultured keratinocytes are seeded on top. It is possible to add other cell types, for example, melanocytes, to the HSE—depending on the research question. After several days and further steps, the 3D skin can be harvested. Additionally, we show possible markers and techniques for evaluation of artificial skin. Furthermore, we provide a comparison of HSEs to human skin organ culture, a model which employs human donor skin. We outline advantages and limitations of both models and discuss future perspectives in using HSEs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1870-1883
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 11.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)
  • Centers: Center for Research on Inflammation of the Skin (CRIS)
  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-19 Dermatology
  • 205-32 Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering
  • 205-07 Medical Informatics and Medical Bioinformatics

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