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Stem Cell Spray Guns Heals Burns In 4 Days

Stem Cell Spray Guns Heals Burns In 4 Days

A new skin grafting technique can heal second degree burns in less than four days…

A new technique that shoots stem cells directly onto burn wounds to help patients heal and recover in days could revolutionalize the way doctors perform skin grafts. The technique created by Dr. Jorg Gerlach of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, works by spraying the patient’s own stem cells over the wound.

The process of harvesting the stem cells and creating matrix can be done in the same day. The surgeon then sprays the mixture over the wound in much the same way one would spray a layer of paint with a spray can. Once the 90 minute procedure is complete that patients can expect to recover in as little as four days.

Treating burn victims this way drastically reduces the time it takes for the wounds to close and heal, and because many deaths as a result of burn wounds are not caused by wounds themselves but by the infections that arise from such open sores, the new technique consequently increases the survival rate of patients suffering from large burns.

stem cell spray gun heals burn wounds 550x636 Stem Cell Spray Guns Heals Burns In 4 Days

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Kearns Receives Skin Graft

Image credit: : Heike Hasenauer, U.S. Army, Via Flickr, 06/28/2010.

Although the stem cell spray gun is still undergoing clinical trials, it has been used to treat at least a dozen victims so far.

Gerlach’s technique is not the first to apply stems cells directly to a wound. Last year researchers from the Wake Forest University developed similar device that successfully printed skin cells onto lab mice. The team hopes to begin testing on pigs, as they have similar skin to humans. If those tests prove successful, the team will approach the FDA in hope of receiving approval to test on humans.


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  1. Unknown: Spray-on stem cells aid burn victims. CBC News, 02/04/2011.
  2. Smriti Rao: Device Inspired by Inkjet Printers Sprays Skin Cells on Wounds. NBCI ROLF, Discover Mag, 04/09/2010.

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