Tissue engineering and wounds –where are we now?

Chairs: Peter Vowden and Jan Apelqvist


Chronic wounds constitute a significant and growing healthcare burden. With an increasingly aging population with higher rates of obesity and diabetes dysfunctional and delayed wound healing is likely to become an increasing problem. There is therefore an urgent and unmet need to develop novel strategies to both prevent and treat wounds and their associated complications. The holy grail of wound management is to achieve restoration of normal skin function with rapid healing and minimal scarring.

Tissue engineering has always offered the potential to create cellular constructs replicating the functionality of skin and continues to develop promising therapies for non-healing wounds. Yet whether with dermal or epidermal constructs, cell transfer, biological manipulation of the wound bed and periwound skin or the application of growth factor we have failed to deliver cost effective alternatives in the mass market to standard wound care products and have therefore failed to establish a major market share for tissue engineered products in chronic wound management.

In this session we aim to explore some of the reasons why tissue engineered advanced wound care solutions have so far failed to recognise their potential in a variety of chronic wound types. Then, by looking at how improvement in wound diagnostics and our understanding of the molecular pathways and biologic defects within the chronic wound environment and non-healing wounds, to suggest how tissue engineered products could be more cost and clinically effectively introduced into practice in the future.

The session will highlight the current concepts in tissue engineering for chronic wounds and will explore current experience with skin substitutes and offer practical tips for the use of these products in both acute and chronic wounds. The session will also look to the future, reviewing emerging cellular therapies and their potential role in the management of non-healing wounds, speculating on areas for future research. Finally the role of stem cells, both as a source of cells in normal wound healing then as a source of tissue engineered constructs will be examined.

Friday 15 May. 08:00-09:30
Platinum 3-4



  • Peter Vowden: Tissue Engineering why did we fail?
  • Alberto Piaggesi: Emerging therapies - Cellular therapies
  • Severin Läuchli: Practical experiences with skin substitutes
  • Des Tobin: Emerging therapies stem cells