They’re Growing Artificial Skin!

Cornell scientists have created improved skin grafts that improve vascular growth that speed healing. These grafts encourage the healthy skin to invade the “wounded” area, reducing the need for future reparative surgeries.

These dermal plates were engineered in a lab at Cornell. The skin plates are made of biomaterials, experimental tissue. These plates are the size of a dime with the consistency of tofu. (I hate that reference.) They’re made of type 1 collagen, that is a very well-regulated biomaterials that is used in surgeries and other “biomedical” applications. These little plates contain actual networks of little channels that will help grow back healthy tissue at wound sites.

The scientists said that the biggest challenge was keeping the grafts alive long enough to help it grow back the healthy tissue and then re-absorbs into the body. These grafts actually promote the ingrowth of a vascular system. (That is the network of vessels that carry blood and circulate fluid through the body, serving the wounded area with a fresh flow of healing blood.) They even set up a template for the skin to heal down to the dermis level (the deepest layer of the skin). The collagen is compatible with the body, but it doesn’t have any living cells, so that will reduce the body’s concerns about rejection of the graft.

They’re saying with this type of technology, they are soon going to be able to create grafts that can act as a wound covering. So we’d be like unstoppable! You get a cut, you lay that skin template over the gash and finish out your day. I mean, in a nut shell, I’m sure we’re a few years out. lol.

These artificial skin templates are able to cut the healing time and cover the wound while offering no risk of rejection. Your body is recreating your body’s skin AND vascular systems while it covers and protects. Holy crap. One down side will be that they take a long time to “install” into the patient. But I think that is because of the depth of healing you are going to experience. It also takes a lot of time because the nature of the application has a risk of infection. They are also working with skin covers with a polymer mesh that will speed up the whole process.

Can you imagine? What could this mean for people undergoing plastic surgery? Can it work for that too? And the regenerative thing with the collagen, what might that mean for our anti-aging battle!

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