Printing Skin Cells on Burn Wounds
Substitute skin products are available, but they are limited in size and some require a lengthy preparation time. With traditional skin grafts, many burn patients don't have enough unburned skin to harvest grafts. A new approach is needed to immediately stabilize the wound and promote healing.
In our project to “print” skin cells on burn wounds.we place cells in vials, rather than in cartridges, and "print" them directly onto the wound. A laser first scans the wound, so that a "map" can be created to direct the printer precisely where to place each cell type.
Mice with wounds similar to burn wounds healed in three weeks with bioprinting. In animals without the treatment, wound healing took five weeks. The goal of the project is to develop a treatment that can quickly cover and stabilize a wound. Research has shown that the longer it takes to cover a wound with skin, the higher the risk of infection, complications, and death.
This video -- with a mock hand and burn -- demonstrates the process.
Read more about WFIRM's computer-controlled system to explore the possibility of growing skin in the laboratory to create large amounts of skin for reconstruction.