The human organism has a number of physiologic processes that work together to heal skin wounds. Sometimes wounds are so large and difficult that these healing mechanisms simply can’t access damaged tissues. Researchers at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina are now reporting the development of a bioprinter that uses a patient’s own skin cells to heal wounds faster and more consistently.
The device is loaded with dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes harvested and grown from the patient’s own skin. A scan is performed of the wound, which provides a three-dimensional perspective of the area to be treated. Once ready, the skin cells loaded in the device are sprayed over the wound. The device uses the data gathered from the earlier scan to spray the cells so that they cover the wound surface in properly measured ratios that lead to optimal healing.
The “printing” process is handheld and the operator simply moves the device across the move, while the print heads release the living cells to accurately drop onto the wound. The system is portable and can be positioned at the point of care.
A study of the system has recently been published in journal Scientific Reports where the Wake Forest researchers report that the wounds treated with their bioprinter “showed rapid wound closure, reduced contraction and accelerated re-epithelialization. These regenerated tissues had a dermal structure and composition similar to healthy skin, with extensive collagen deposition arranged in large, organized fibers, extensive mature vascular formation and proliferating keratinocytes.”
Study in journal Scientific Reports: In Situ Bioprinting of Autologous Skin Cells Accelerates Wound Healing of Extensive Excisional Full-Thickness Wounds…