Biomaterials & Skin Repair
Skin is the largest organ in the human body and serves as the outer covering that protects the body from external stimuli (e.g. damage, pathogens and water loss), helps regulate temperature and provides the ability of sensation. Skin is comprised of a thin stratified squamous epithelial layer (epidermis), a dense layer consisting of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and many of the appendages of skin (dermis) and final layer of loose connective tissue, fat tissue, nerves and vascular supply (hypodermis).
When the skin is damaged a well-orchestrated set of events is triggered to repair the injury termed as wound healing. It is broadly divided into four overlapping events: (1) Haemostasis, (2) Inflammation, (3) Proliferation and (4) Remodelling. Interruption of these events can have a negative impact on the repair of skin tissue and lead to a chronic non-healing wound. Metabolic disease such as diabetes can have a severe impact on wound healing with increased risk of developing a chronic non-healing wound; a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU).