Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a rapidly developing technology that has the potential to initiate a paradigm shift in the treatment of skin wounds arising from burns, ulcers and genodermatoses. Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), a severe form of epidermolysis bullosa, is a rare genodermatosis that results in mechanically induced blistering of epithelial tissues that leads to chronic wounds. Currently, there is no cure for RDEB, and effective treatment is limited to protection from trauma and extensive bandaging. The care of chronic wounds and burns significantly burdens the healthcare system, further illustrating the dire need for more beneficial wound care. However, in its infancy, 3D bioprinting offers therapeutic potential for wound healing and could be a breakthrough technology for the treatment of rare, incurable genodermatoses like RDEB. This viewpoint essay outlines the promise of 3D bioprinting applications for treating RDEB, including skin regeneration, a delivery system for gene-edited cells and small molecules, and disease modelling. Although the future of 3D bioprinting is encouraging, there are many technical challenges to overcome–including optimizing bioink and cell source–before this approach can be widely implemented in clinical practice.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was conducted with funding support from NIH grant NHLBI R01 AR063070. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
- gene editing
- guided tissue regeneration
- regenerative medicine
- tissue engineering
- wound healing
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article