Artificial Skin—Ioannis V. Yannas (1982) (Excerpt)

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IOANNIS YANNAS: This is a segment of the completed artificial skin. This is the form in which this material is handed over to the surgeon for grafting of wounds.

You can see that it can be stretched. It can be sutured. It is flexible and drapes well over curved surfaces. And it is somewhat transparent. This material is collagen, a fiber protein which is one of the basic ingredients of our artificial skin.

Our development of the artificial skin has in some ways followed the design of our own natural skin, which is made up of two layers. The outer layer is the epidermis, which is a moisture seal and a bacteria seal. And in the artificial skin, this top layer plays the same role.

The bottom layer is a mechanical seal, pretty much as the dermis, the inner layer of our own natural skin, acts as a mechanical seal.