Introduction/Background Premalignant or malignant disease of the vulva or vagina and require appropriate surgical oncological treatment. In these patients, wound breakdown occurs in 20–40% and, additionally, some patients might not be eligible for standard procedures of reconstructive surgery. In these cases, tissue engineered buccal mucosa might promote wound healing, reduce hospital days and improve satisfaction and long-term outcomes of patients. In this project we tested the use of collagen matrices for generation of engineered mucosa replacements.
Methodology Primary buccal epithelial cells and fibroblasts were seeded on three commercially available (BioGide®, TissueFoil E®, Sugsisis ES®) and one non-commercially available (BioGide-Pro®) biodegradable membranes. After 21 days cultivation the tissue engineered oral mucosa (TEOM) equivalents were evaluated.
Results Each examined TEOM displayed multi-layered epithelial cells on the bottom side of the membrane and mono-layered fibroblasts on the underside of each membrane. Immunohistochemical staining showed collagen IV as a marker of the basement membrane, detected in all TEOMs. Additionally, the BioGide® membrane enabled deep invasion of fibroblasts, whereas cells seeded on TissueFoil E® were not able to penetrate the membrane. Suboptimal invasion of fibroblasts was displayed by Sugsisis ES® and BioGide-Pro®. The BioGide® membrane showed a clear shrinkage during TEOM formation.
Conclusion In summary, the BioGide® scaffold showed the best results regarding formation of TEOMs. We showed that tissue engineered oral mucosa equivalents can be engineered under in vitro conditions. This could enable surgeons to apply the engineered tissue for reconstructive purposes in patients with benign or malignant vulvar or vaginal conditions, who are not eligible for standard surgical approach but who may benefit from innovative procedures.
Disclosure Roxana Schwab: I have received honoraria and expenses from Roche Pharma AG and AstraZeneca GmbH and funding by MacoPharma International GmbH and by Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research Mainz. BioGide-Pro® was kindly provided by Geistlich Biomaterials. Annette Hasenburg: I have received honoraria and expenses from AstraZeneca, FBA Frauenärzte BundesAkademie GmbH, KlarigoVerlag, MedConcept, Med public GmbH, Med update GmbH, Medicultus, Pfizer, Promedicis GmbH, Pierre Fabre Pharma GmbH, Softconsult, Roche Pharma AG, Streamedup! GmbH, Tesaro Bio Germany GmbH. I am consultant to PharmaMar, Promedicis GmbH, Pierre Fabre Pharma GmbH, Roche Pharma AG and Tesaro Bio Germany GmbH. I have received funded research from Celgene. Celine Pfeifer: I have no conflict of interest. Martin Heller: I have no conflict of interest. Walburgis Brenner: I have no conflict of interest.
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