Skin Bioengineering Laboratory

Skin Bioengineering Laboratory

Skin tissue laboratory group
2022 group  L-R: Dr Sina Kardeh, Dr Ilia Banakh, Mr Jacob Jones, A/Prof Shiva Akbarzadeh, Dr Cheng Lo, and A/Prof Heather Cleland

About us

Burns are a common traumatic injury, with approximately 1% of the population of Australia and New Zealand sustaining burns each year. Although many of these are minor, over 50% will affect daily life, many of which will have ongoing consequences. Severe burns are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, and are among the most expensive traumatic injuries to treat and manage, entailing long periods of hospitalisation and rehabilitation and costly wound and scar treatment. The gold standard treatment for severe burns is split thickness skin grafts (STSGs). However, autografts are usually insufficient to cover burn wounds in one stage of grafting when the total body surface area involved exceeds 40% and donor sites become a limiting factor.

Our laboratory is uniquely positioned to address some of the challenges in burns treatment. As part of the Victorian Adult Burns Service, which provides the state wide service for all adult severely injured burn patients, we are committed to a bench to bedside model of research to provide our patients with lifesaving therapies.

Research Programmes

Meet the team

Postgraduate study

Please contact Dr Shiva Akbarzadeh for further information about Honours and PhD projects and programs of study. Training in skin tissue engineering is also available for scientists and surgeons from developing countries.

Contact details: ph +61 3 9903 0616 email:

Recent publications

  • Banakh, I., Cheshire, P., Rahman, M., Carmichael, I., Jagadeesan, P., Cameron, N. R., Cleland, H. & Akbarzadeh, S. A Comparative Study of Engineered Dermal Templates for Skin Wound Repair in a Mouse Model. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.25 Jun 2020, 21, 12, 15 p., 4508.
  • Wound healing after cultured epithelial autografting in patients with massive burn injury: A cohort study. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2018 Nov 13. pii: S1748-6815(18)30388-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2018.11.003. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Cheshire, P., Zhafira, A. Banakh, I., Herson, M., Cleland, H., Akbarzadeh S. Human Derived Feeder and Serum Supplement for a Xeno-free “Cultured Epithelial Autograft”. CTR (in press).
  • Akbarzadeh, S., Paul, M., Herson M., Lo C. H., Cleland, H. CEA as an Adjunct Treatment for Major Burns: A Phase I Study.  Cytotherapy 2017, 19 (5S): S26.
  • Cheshire, P., Herson, M., Cleland, H., Akbarzadeh, S. Artificial dermal templates: A comparative study of NovoSorbTM Biodegradable Temporising Matrix (BTM) and Integra® Dermal Regeneration Template (DRT). Burns 2016, 42 (5): 1088-1096.
  • Paul, M., Kaur, P., Herson, M., Cheshire, P. Cleland, H., Akbarzadeh, S. Use of clotted human plasma and aprotinin in skin tissue engineering - A novel approach to engineering composite skin on a porous scaffold. J. Tissue Engineering- Part C 2015.
  • Cleland H, Wasiak J, Dobson H, Paul M, Pratt G, Paul E, Herson M, Akbarzadeh S. Clinical application and viability of cryopreserved cadaveric skin allografts in severe burn: A retrospective analysis. Burns 2014; 40(1):61-66

Media profile

Giving to this Research

Please contact if you are interested to donate to this research