E.V. Sytina (1),T.H. Tenchurin (1), S.G. Rudyak (2), V.P. Saprykin (1), O.A. Romanova (1), A.S. Orehov (1), A.L. Vasiliev (1), A.A. Alekseev (3), S.N. Chvalun (1), M.A. Paltsev (1), A.A. Panteleyev (1)
1 -National Research Centre «Kurchatov Institute», Akademika Kurchatova pl., 1, Moscow, Russian Federation, 123182;
2 -MiraksBioFarma, str. Working, and 2, Bldg. 1; Khimki, Moscow region, Russian Federation, 141401;
3 -Federal State Institution «A.V. Vishnevsky Institute of Surgery» the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, str. Large Serpukhov, 27, Moscow, Russian Federation,117997

Introduction. One of the most prospective approaches in therapy of deep skin burns is the development of artificial dermal equivalents with a potential to provide efficient scaffolding for dermis reconstruction and re-epithelisation. The choice of material for such scaffolds remains a key issue in design and development of artificial dermal substitutes. Materials based on natural components of the extracellular matrix of the skin (e.g., collagen) have low mechanical strength, are easily deformed by biodegradation, and are very expensive. Synthetic polymers could provide an alternative to the use of materials of natural origin. However, despite the fact that a large variety of synthetic matrices is available on the market, the material that is unequivocally accepted as effective in the treatment of deep burns and meets all the requirements of clinical practice has not yet been identified. This is primarily due to the lack of comparative studies of various synthetic materials for their ability to support the growth and migration of dermal cells, as well as due to the limited understanding of the mechanisms of interaction between fibroblasts and an artificial scaffold.The aim of the study. In this work, we have evaluated the biocompatibility of nonwoven polymeric matrices of different origin (cellulose acetate, polycaprolactone, polycaprolactone mixture with polyvinylpyrrolidone, poly-L-lactide, poly-D-L-lactide, chitosan and polytetrafluoroethylene) as well as the influence of their structural and physicochemical characteristics on the physiology of primary human dermal fibroblasts. Results. The fiber thickness of 2–3 microns and a pore size of about 20 microns of material are minimally sufficient for high levels of proliferation of fibroblasts and their penetration into the thickness of the polymeric matrix. On chitosan dermal fibroblasts do not proliferate and form specific loose clusters which are never found on other materials. Fibroblasts are capable of synthesizing extracellular matrix on polymer samples without addition of natural components of the extracellular matrix, filling the pores of about 75 microns and significant surface defects. Obviously, the normal functioning of dermal fibroblasts on artificial scaffolds and particularly their synthetic activity depends on the three-dimensional structure of the microenvironment. Conclusion. The data obtained in our study may be used for development of functional dermal equivalents with high efficiency in treatment of deep burns and other skin defects associated with extensive loss of tissue.
Keywords: biocompatibility, dermal equivalent, skin, nonwoven fibrous materials, fibroblasts, electrospinning