Vitiligo is a dermatologic disease characterized by depigmentation of the skin. While the loss of melanocytes observed in vitiligo is driven by the immune system, repigmentation of the skin that occurs during UV light treatment is driven by melanocytes that migrate out of the hair follicle and into the epidermis or the activation of stem cells within the epidermis. Unfortunately, some skin areas affected by vitiligo have very few hair follicle melanocytes and an indeterminate number of epidermal melanocytes and therefore unable to respond to light therapy.
This pilot study seeks to examine the relative efficacy of different harvesting methods for the melanocyte keratinocyte transplant procedure (MKTP) in the treatment of vitiligo.
In addition, this study will analyze the tissue of excess tissue harvested during the procedure to identify distinct cellular and molecular features of chronic vitiligo.
Patients in Dr. Ganesan's clinic at the UCI (University of California, Irvine) Department of Dermatology will be approached for participation in the study. The study will include both men and women and will not be limited by race or ethnicity. The investigators will exclude individuals less than 18 years old for the study as the investigators believe it would be difficult for these subjects to tolerate the melanocyte keratinocyte transplant procedure. Participants will be offered a melanocyte keratinocyte transplant procedure with one of the three different tissue harvesting methods (a blade, suction blister) and the method without dissociation (Cellutome).
This study has three arms:
MKTP with Surgical Blade
MKTP with Negative Pressure Instrument (suction blistering device).
Suction blister grafting without cell dissociation utilizing Cellutome (a device used for treating chronic burn wounds)