Sci-fi spray gun cuts healing time for burns
Monday 07 February 2011
Medical science has a new tool, dubbed "skin cell gun," which fires stem cells onto burned skin, cutting recovery time and saving lives.
Burn injuries notoriously can take weeks and months to heal. But rather than sheets of skin being grown over a period of time and applied to the patient, researchers are now harvesting stem cells from a patch of healthy skin, putting them into a water solution, and then spraying the mixture onto the burned area, quickening the healing time to a few days. The process takes about 90 minutes, compared to traditional treatments that can take weeks or months, from which patients are at risk of dying from infection.
Announced in a release on February 3, the new device is being developed by researchers at the US-based University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
The skin gun is part the vision of the $250-million Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), a consortium of 30 research institutions established in 2008 by the US Department of Defense to come to the aid of wounded soldiers.
Science and tech magazine Popular Science reports on another one of AFIM's projects, which involves building an even weirder medical creation: an "inkjet printer" that can create a living organ on demand, such as a liver. "The device uses cartridges filled with cells from various types of tissue, along with a mix of growth factors and special nutrients, to 'print' organs layer upon layer," reports the article.
The skin gun will be featured on the US-based National Geographic Channel on Monday, February 7, in a program called "How to Build a Beating Heart," which examines cutting-edge techniques of tissue regeneration.
Read about other AFIM projects:
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >
£22000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Junior/Grad C# .NET Wi...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer (VB6,.NET, SQL, Winforms) Wokin...
£35999 - £44001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top Tier practi...
£41000 - £46000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Academically Exce...