Understanding the mechanisms of spontaneous and skin-grafted wound repair: the path to engineered skin grafts

Nicole Garcia, Lachlan Dat Wah Lau, Cheng Hean Lo, Heather Cleland, Shiva Akbarzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review


Spontaneous wound repair is a complex process that involves overlapping phases of inflammation, proliferation and remodelling, co-ordinated by growth factors and proteases. In extensive wounds such as burns, the repair process would not be achieved in a timely fashion unless grafted. Although spontaneous wound repair has been extensively described, the processes by which wound repair mechanisms mediate graft take are yet to be fully explored. This review describes engraftment stages and summarises current understanding of molecular mechanisms which regulate autologous skin graft healing, with the goal of directing innovation in permanent wound closure with skin substitutes. Graftability and vascularisation of various skin substitutes that are either in the market or in development phase are discussed. In doing so, we cast a spotlight on the paucity of scientific information available as to how skin grafts (both autologous and engineered) heal a wound bed. Better understanding of these processes may assist in developing novel methods of wound management and treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Wound Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023


  • bioengineering
  • collagen
  • hard-to-heal wounds
  • skin graft
  • skin substitutes
  • spontaneous wound repair
  • vascularisation
  • wound
  • wound care
  • wound dressing
  • wound healing

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