Navigation Links
Microscopic scaffolding offers a 'simple' solution to treating skin injuries

A revolutionary dissolvable scaffold for growing new areas of skin could provide a safer, more effective way of treating burns, diabetic ulcers and similar injuries.

This ultra-fine, 3-dimensional scaffold, which is made from specially developed polymers, looks similar to tissue paper but has fibres 100 times finer. Before it is placed over a wound, the patient's skin cells (obtained via a biopsy*) are introduced and attach themselves to the scaffold, multiplying until they eventually grow over it. When placed over the wound, the scaffold dissolves harmlessly over 6 to 8 weeks, leaving the patient's skin cells behind.

This new approach to skin reconstruction has been developed by a team of chemists, materials scientists and tissue engineers at the University of Sheffield, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. It is designed primarily for cases involving extensive burns where surgeons are unable to take enough skin grafts from elsewhere on the body to cover the damaged areas. Currently, bovine collagen** or skin from human donors is used in these cases, but these approaches have potential health and rejection risks.

"Simplicity is the key," says Professor Tony Ryan, who is leading the team. "Previous attempts to find better ways of encouraging skin cell growth have used chemical additives and other elaborate techniques to produce scaffolds, but their success has been limited. We've found that skin cells are actually very 'smart' ?it's in their DNA to sort themselves into the right arrangement. They just need a comparatively uncomplicated scaffold (and each other) to help them grow in a safe, natural way."

The polymers used in the scaffold are biodegradable materials already approved for medical applications. Because the team has recognised that skin cells are 'smart' and the scaffold can therefore be 'dumb' (i.e. not overly sophisticated), simple polymers can be used.

The process for making the scaffolds is based on the well-known technique of electrospinning***. However, the team has made a key advance by developing a new method of making, from the same biodegradable polymers, aligned-fibre 'mats' of potential use in promoting nerve or tendon growth. This method is currently being patented.

The next step in the research is to develop the skin reconstruction technology for clinical use, hopefully in the next few years. The technology also offers possibilities for testing the toxicity of cosmetic and similar products, using materials grown in the laboratory that closely resemble natural skin.

"Ultimately, we can envisage treatment of burns victims and the undertaking of reconstructive surgery using the scaffold and the patient's own skin to produce bespoke skin for that patient," says Professor Ryan. "As an accident-prone mountain biker, I find that prospect very attractive!"


'"/>

Source:Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


Related biology news :

1. Microscopic brain imaging in the palm of your hand
2. Microscopic passengers to hitch ride on space shuttle
3. Tiny scaffolding allows stem cells to become working fat cells
4. Bedsores and bald hides: Novel roles revealed for a scaffolding protein
5. Tissue engineered scaffolding allows reproduction of cartilage tissue
6. Protein offers way to stop microscopic parasites in their tracks
7. Gene silencing technique offers new strategy for treating, curing disease
8. Mosaic mouse technique offers a powerful new tool to study diseases and genetics
9. Engineered skin offers clues to melanoma development
10. GM crop that holds on to its seeds offers higher yields
11. Novel enzyme offers new look at gene regulation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/22/2017)... NEW YORK , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Customer Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as ... in its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using ... to give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations ... purchases, but also on predictions of customer intent ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in ... ... combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a ... ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... , March 7, 2017 Brandwatch , the ... by The Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to support ... The Trust. The UK,s leading youth charity will be ... campaign results and get a better understanding of the topics and ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... As part ... will explore challenging patient cases when screening for direct oral anticoagulant. When patients ... a need for bridging parental anticoagulation especially for those at high risk of ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Husson ... clinical research community’s growing body of knowledge during its Eighth Annual Research ... and the adjacent Darling Atrium. During the event, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Parallel6™ , the ... worldwide, announced today that they were named one of the 2017 Top 10 ... latest developments in the pharmaceutical industry. , “We take pride in honoring Parallel6 as ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 For ... focuses on novel drug development and clinical research aimed at ... Biostage Inc. (NASDAQ: BSTG), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: KERX), Kite ... ZIOP ). You can access our complimentary research reports ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: