Technology as a way of life

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser...

(Reuters) - Inspired by a standard office inkjet printer, U.S. researchers have rigged up a device that can spray skin cells directly onto burn victims, quickly protecting and healing their wounds as an alternative to skin grafts.

They have mounted the device, which has so far only been tested on mice, in a frame that can be wheeled over a patient in a hospital bed, they reported on Wednesday.

A laser can take a reading of the wound's size and shape so that a layer of healing skin cells can be precisely applied, said the team at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

"We literally print the cells directly onto the wound," said student Kyle Binder, who helped design the device. "We can put specific cells where they need to go."

Tests on mice showed the spray system, called bioprinting, could heal wounds quickly and safely, the researchers reported at the Translational Regenerative Medicine Forumb.

"We were able to close the entire wound in two weeks," Binder said. Mice with plugs of skin removed that were not treated took five weeks to heal, he said.

The team will eventually seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to test the device on humans, said George Christ, a professor of regenerative medicine at the school.

They are working with the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine to come up with ways to help soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. It could be used to close various types of wounds as well as burns.

Binder and colleagues dissolved human skin cells from pieces of skin, separating and purifying the various cell types such as fibroblasts and keratinocytes.

They put them in a nutritious solution to make them multiply and then used a system similar to a multicolor office inkjet printer to apply first a layer of fibroblasts and then a layer of keratinocytes, which form the protective outer layer of skin.

The wound on the mouse was completely closed by three weeks, they reported. Experts say victims of massive burns usually die of infection within two weeks unless they receive skin grafts, and normal grafting often leaves severe scars.

The sprayed cells also incorporated themselves into surrounding skin, hair follicles and sebaceous glands, probably because immature cells called stem cells were mixed in with the sprayed cells, the researchers said.
"You have to give a lot of credit to the cells. When you put them into the wound, they know what to do," Binder said.

The next step is to try the system on pigs, whose skin more closely resembles the skin of humans. Binder said it may also be useful for treating diabetic foot ulcers, a common problem.

8 comments:

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Matt said...

Awesome! Hoping to learn more on this as testing continues onto pigs and then hopefully humans! Cool post!
-TeleSign Matt
http://www.telesign.com

Anonymous said...

Bună Ziua
Eu sunt Vlad, unul dintre membrii Radio Whisper, un radio anti-manele dedicat bloggerilor şi nu numai.
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Anonymous said...

Wow that technology could really improve the life of a lot people, especially burns victims, I hope it comes out soon, just wonder how much medical insurance people will have to have in order to pay for such treatment. If money isnt a problem this is a really great use for technology.

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Dave said...

I had a friend growing up that spent almost a year in the hospital for burns which covered 30% of his Body. This technology would have really helped out.

Antivirus Software said...

It's amazing what technology can do these days. I hope this skin printing goes to human testing fast as I can see it helping lots of people.

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I certainly like your post because I myself does not know about this information. Indeed, technology has gone far and it continues to amaze people. Thanks for sharing!

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