3D Printed Skin? Potential New Treatment For Chronic Wounds

This story is part 11 of an occasional series on the current progression in Regenerative Medicine. In 1999, I defined regenerative medicine as the collection of interventions that restore to normal function tissues and organs that have been damaged by disease, injured by trauma, or worn by time. I include a full spectrum of chemical, gene, and protein-based medicines, cell-based therapies, and biomechanical interventions that achieve that goal.

Wounds come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small and heal quickly, causing few problems. Others are larger and slower to heal. Deep wounds that take especially long to go through the normal healing process, called chronic wounds, are of particular concern; these have a tendency to reopen and are often accompanied by infection and, eventually, scarring. Add to this the fact that chronic wounds are difficult to treat with currently available therapies, and you end up with a serious healthcare challenge.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham and the University of Huddersfield made use of an up-and-coming tissue engineering technique to develop a new treatment method for chronic wounds. In a paper published in APL Bioengineering, Richard Moakes et al. describe the process by which they managed to 3D print a functional skin equivalent that can be inserted into wounds to speed up recovery.

Read the full article here.

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.