Regional variations in the histology of porcine skin

Neill J. Turner, Dominic Pezzone, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Porcine skin is commonly used as a model for human skin injury and as a source material for biologic scaffold materials. Although remarkable similarities between porcine and human skin exist, regional anatomic variations present in human skin are also present in porcine skin. The objective of this study was to evaluate the structure of porcine skin from 11 different anatomic regions in the American Yorkshire crossbreed. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used, with emphasis on epidermal and dermal thickness, hair follicle density, and collagen and elastin composition and distribution. The results showed that significant regional differences in skin histology exist, particularly with regard to the thickness of the dermis and epidermis and the amount of collagen and elastin within each tissue. Differences were also seen in the distribution of type I and type III collagen within the dermis. Therefore, while porcine skin shares many similarities with human skin, distinct regional differences in composition and morphology exist. This study highlights the importance of appreciating these regional differences to avoid misinterpretation of experimental results when using porcine skin as a human analogue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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