What is Bio-engineered Skin Graft?

Your doctor may recommend bio-engineered skin graft or substitutes to help cover a chronic wound – a wound that fails to heal itself within a specific time period. There are different ways to manage chronic wounds, including the use of specialized dressings, surgery like skin flaps and grafts from the patient’s own body, or bio-engineered skin grafts.

Bioengineered skin grafts comprise an outer epidermal layer and a dermal layer embedded into a support structure (acellular matrix) to create a biological skin substitute.

Skin grafts can be derived from human or non-human tissue. Bio-engineered skin grafts are derived either from human placenta (EpiFix® or Grafix®), neonatal foreskin (Dermagraft® or Apligraf®) or porcine stomach lining (Oasis®).

Most of the bio-engineered skin grafts are produced commercially and grown from neonatal (allogeneic) foreskin. This skin graft is preferred because:

  • It is characterized by vigorous cell growth with high metabolic activity
  • It is obtained conveniently from healthy babies during circumcision
  • It is rich in epidermal keratinocyte stem cells
  • There are hardly any allergic reactions against these cells

Properties of Bio-engineered Skin Grafts in Los Angeles

Bioengineered skin graft is intended to temporarily assume the role of the epidermis/dermis until the patient’s skin self-repairs or until a definite skin replacement is obtained with a skin graft or some other cultured equivalent.

Research suggests that bioengineered skin grafts hastens the wound healing process by introducing living cells to restore the necessary conditions for repair, including structural support, a moist wound environment, and growth factors (including cytokines) that stimulate natural immune response and foster tissue regeneration.

Here are some of the advantages of using bioengineered skin grafts:

  • Overall cost to heal wound is reduced
  • Biodegradable
  • Indefinite shelf life under minimal storage requirements for selected grafts
  • Fast and unremitting adherence to the wound surface
  • Permits transmission of water vapor – similar to normal skin
  • Flexible and pliable so it can easily conform to any wound surface
  • Inner surface structure promotes cell proliferation/migration of new tissue
  • No systemic toxicity
  • Non-antigenic – meaning it won’t be rejected by the host’s immune system

What are the advantages over skin grafts (derived from patient’s own body)

  • Less pain than skin grafting
  • Fewer complications than skin grafting
  • Done in the office setting
  • No anesthesia needed
  • No need for graft harvesting and wound healing at the harvest site


Skin substitutes are known to help reduce pain, close wounds, and promote healing, plus they eliminate the need for surgical skin grafts. Their use has been evaluated for a range of conditions, including:

  • Severe burn wounds
  • Leg ulcers caused by venous insufficiency, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers (bedsores), and ulcers caused by peripheral arterial disease
  • Breast reconstruction surgery
  • Ulcers related to systemic sclerosis
  • Acute surgical wounds
  • Pyoderma gangrenosum
  • Epidermolysis bullosa (EB)

Studies suggest that bioengineered skin grafting is safe for the above procedures, or at least as safe as the standard therapies used for wound care and burns. Different bio-engineered skin substitutes are labeled for specific uses, and your provider applies them accordingly.

Contact Our Los Angeles Skin Graft Specialist for More Info!

For more information on our bioengineered skin graft substitutes, please call our office @ 1.805-653-5312 or contact us online here.

Dr. Haimesh Shah of Center for Vein Wellness offers skin substitutes using bioengineered skin graft to patients located in Los Angeles, Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks & more.


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