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A Device That ‘Prints’ New Skin Right Onto Burns Just Passed Another Animal Trial

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in 2018, Canadian scientists unveiled a portable device that "prints" artificial leather sheets
directly on the wounds of burn victims.

"The analogy is an insulating tape distributor," researcher Axel Günther told Smithsonian magazine
at the time, "where instead of a roll of tape you have a microdevice that sticks out a piece of
fabric tape."




On Tuesday, the team released the promising results of the latest pig testing in the Biofabrication
magazine, further approaching actual use in burned clinics.

Doctors currently have several options for treating severe burns. The most common is a skin graft,
which involves removing damaged tissue and replacing it with healthy skin from another part of the
body.

But in some cases, grafts are not a viable option.

"[I] n cases where a patient has extensive full-thickness burns - which destroy both the upper and
lower layers of the skin - there is not always healthy skin sufficient to use," explained Günther 
in a press release.

Alternative burn treatments, such as collagen scaffolds and in vitro skin substitutes, each have 
their downsides, continued Günther. And this is where a device that prints new skin directly onto 
a burn could be an advantage.

The team device completely eliminates the need for grafts by depositing strips of a special bioink
directly on a wound. This bioink contains healing proteins and stromal mesenchymal cells, which 
help the immune system and promote the growth of new cells.




For the new trial, the team tested its device on full-thickness burns in pigs - and was very satisfied
with the results.

"We found that the device successfully deposited the" skin sheets "on the wounds evenly, safely and 
reliably, and the sheets remained in place with minimal movement," said researcher Marc Jeschke in the
press release.

"More significantly, our results showed that wounds treated with [mesenchymal stromal cells] healed 
very well," he continued, "with a reduction in inflammation, scarring and contraction compared to 
both untreated and untreated wounds. treated with a collagen scaffold. "

 

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