A piece of skin the size of a nickel, when placed inside a revolutionary Swiss bioengineering machine, can create a skin graft the size of a manhole cover.
Neither totally real nor totally artificial, the new coffee table-sized machine allows skin to be stretched to much larger sizes in an effort to help the millions of people who suffer debilitating injuries or death from burns.
Taking healthy, undamaged skin cells from the victim, the procedure begins by “culturing” them in a laboratory before combining them with hydrogel. The resulting 1mm-inch thick skin is approximately the combined width of our natural layers of skin.
The technology is called denovoGraft and is already being used to treat people even though it has only recently completed phase II trials. This is because, for a select few people, this method of skin processing is so advanced that it is the only option in the world for their condition, which could be a rare disease or a major burn.
“Right now we can multiply the surface area of the original sample by a factor of 100, and our goal is eventually a factor of 500,” said Daniela Marino, co-founder and chief developer of denovoGraft. Clover.
A Swiss news outlet reports that 11 million people around the world suffer severe burns each year, and a more democratized treatment option could propel the field to a point where those in developing countries and war zones could receive a denovoSkin graft. The denovoGraft machine can perform multiple grafts at once without manual input, offering the potential to dramatically reduce both production time and costs.
While the market for skin reconstruction for scars or burns is valued at just under $ 2 billion, there are only about 40 people employed full-time in the industry.
“There are 20 centers of excellence in Europe for the treatment of severe burns,” Marino said. Switzerland Info. “We are going to start working with them, and we can do it on our own. Later, of course, we will have to find partners. “
Marino expects phase III trials to end sometime after 2023, after which the procedure would initially be available primarily in Europe.
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