29 January 2014
Vol 6, Issue 221

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Blood and Lymph. Skin grafts have revolutionized the treatment of burns and wounds, but they can still fail because of improper vascularization. In this week’s issue, Marino et al. created human skin grafts by combining human keratinocytes (skin cells), fibroblasts, and endothelial cells (which form capillaries) inside collagen hydrogels. The cells formed blood vessels as well as lymphatic vessels (in red) that anchored themselves by filaments (in green) to the surrounding gel, as is characteristic of lymphatics. The prevascularized grafts functioned normally after transplantation onto rat wounds. With blood vessels providing nutrients and oxygen and lymphatics draining away excess fluid, these bioengineered grafts could improve skin healing in humans. [CREDIT: D. MARINO/UNIVERSITY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ZURICH]