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Effect of low-level laser treatment of tissue-engineered skin substitutes: contraction of collagen lattices

Ho, B. and Barbenel, J.C. and Grant, M.H. (2009) Effect of low-level laser treatment of tissue-engineered skin substitutes: contraction of collagen lattices. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 14 (3). 034002. ISSN 1083-3668

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Abstract

Fibroblast-populated collagen lattices (FPCL) are widely used in tissue-engineered artificial skin substitutes, but their main drawback is that interaction of fibroblasts and matrix causes contraction of the lattice, reducing it to about 20% of its original area. The effect of low-level laser treatment (LLLT) on the behavior of 3T3 fibroblasts seeded in collagen lattices containing 20% chondroitin-6-sulphate was investigated to determine whether LLLT could control the contraction of FPCL. A He-Ne laser was used at 632.8 nm to deliver a 5-mW continuous wave with fluences from 1 to 4 J/cm(2). Laser treatment at 3 J/cm(2) increased contraction of collagen lattices in the absence of cells but decreased contraction of cell seeded lattices over a 7-day period. The effect was energy dependent and was not observed at 1, 2, or 4 J/cm(2). There was no alteration in fibroblast viability, morphology, or mitochondrial membrane potential after any laser treatments, but the distribution of actin fibers within the cells and collagen fibers in the matrices was disturbed at 3 J/cm(2). These effects contribute to the decrease in contraction observed. LLLT may offer a means to control contraction of FPCL used as artificial skin substitutes.