Friday, February 4, 2011

The Skin Gun: Stem Cell Sprayer For Thermal Burns

The treatment of thermal burns today often involves the transplant of skin grafts, with notoriously long healing times and high susceptibility to infection. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy aids in speeding healing and controlling swelling and infection. That's a pretty neat trick, but nothing at all like what you are about to see.

Double-click on the (large) video below. Sometimes from the first look you know when a flashy new gadget is a real medical breakthrough.

Developed by a team led by Dr Jörg Gerlach at the University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the spray gun device is really just the business end of a 3-stage process. First the patient's own skin and skin stem cells are collected and isolated. Then the skin cell solution is applied directly to the wound with a spray gun. Finally the wound is dressed with an artificial vascular system, a "bioreactor bandage that distributes glucose, sugar, amino acids, antibiotics, and electrolytes" and cleans the treatment area to support stem cells that grow into new skin.

Wow! is about all we have to add.

Read more at the Medgadget blog and in the McGowan press release.

O2.0 is the news blog of HyperbaricLink, the independent web guide to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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