FGF-7 expression enhances the performance of bioengineered skin

Gulsun Erdag, Daniel A. Medalie, Hinne Rakhorst, Gerald G. Krueger, Jeffrey R. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To improve the performance of bioengineered skin, we used a recombinant retrovirus encoding FGF-7 to modify diploid human keratinocytes genetically. Control or FGF-7-expressing keratinocytes were seeded onto acellular human dermis to form bioengineered skin. Gene-modified skin secreted significant levels of FGF-7 and formed a thicker and hyperproliferative epidermis with about four times the number of cells per square centimeter. Secretion of an endogenous trophic factor, VEGF, was increased ∼5-fold. Migration of FGF-7-expressing keratinocytes was stimulated as was the self-healing of bioengineered skin expressing FGF-7. When tested in a bacterial infection model, the antimicrobial properties of FGF-7-expressing skin were increased >500-fold against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. After transplantation to full-thickness wounds on athymic mice, skin expressing FGF-7 was revascularized more rapidly. These results demonstrate that genetic modification can be used to enhance performance and that expression of FGF-7 augments several properties important to the wound-healing properties of bioengineered skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Infection
  • Skin
  • Tissue engineering
  • Vascularization
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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