This machine prints artificial skin directly on the wounds and wants to replace the plaster
It looks like an adhesive tape dispenser, but in reality what it does is put strips of "skin" created from gel cartridges. The impression of artificial skin is not new, getting it applied directly to the patient's body is.This new device seeks to apply a gel composed of skin cells, collagen and fibrin to help heal wounds.
When a wound cut is deep enough and the skin cannot heal properly, a skin graft is usually applied. This helps the skin to heal better and protects the patient from infection. Normally these are autografts (skin of the same person) or allografts (skin of another person), the alternative to this is artificial skin generated from different types of tissue that the body does not reject.
Printing bioartificial patches
The problem with artificial compounds is the difficulty in applying them to the patient. Fabrics are printed with bulky machines that can hardly function in an operating room. Several researchers at the University of Toronto have designed a device that tries to solve this problem by being considerably smaller. To make it so small and manageable, it no longer creates meshes, but a gel with living cells.
The device works using bioartificial gel cartridges, as if they were ink cartridges. According to its developers, the cartridges with the gel are for single use and can be customizable to the needs of each patient. When applied on a surface, sheets of skin tissue are created thanks to rollers in the contact area.
At the moment the device is still in the testing phase, it is being tested for correct operation and in some animals before starting to perform tests on humans. One of the biggest difficulties so far is growing cells, a slow process. With the passage of time they hope to be able to use stem cells directly, so that the applied gel is not rejected by any patient.
Images | Liz Do
More information | Lab on Chip
Track | New Atlas
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