In mammals, the early-gestation fetus has the regenerative ability to heal skin wounds without scar formation. This observation was first reported more than 3 decades ago, and has been confirmed in a number of in vivo animal models. Although an intensive research effort has focused on unraveling the mechanisms underlying scarless fetal wound repair, no suitable model of in vitro fetal skin healing has been developed. In this article, we report a novel model for the study of fetal wound healing. Fetal skin from gestational day 16.5 Balb/c mice (total gestation, 20 days) was grafted onto the chorioallantoic membrane of 12-day-old chicken embryos and cultured for up to 7 days. At 48 hours postengraftment, circular wounds (diameter = 1 mm) were made in the fetal skin using a rotating titanium sapphire laser (N = 45). The tissue was examined daily by visual inspection to look for signs of infection and ischemia. The grafts and the surrounding host tissue were examined histologically. In all fetal skin grafts, the wounds completely reepithelialized by postinjury day 7, with regeneration of the dermis. Fetal mouse skin xenografts transplanted onto the chorioallantoic membrane of fertilized chicken eggs provides a useful model for the study of fetal wound healing. This model can be used as an adjunct to traditional in vivo mammalian models of fetal repair.
View details for DOI 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31822128a9
View details for Web of Science ID 000305485200020
View details for PubMedID 21712703