New device gives doctors easier way to graft skin

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New device gives doctors easier way to graft skin

Korean scientists have developed a spray-on skin graft that they say will speed up treatment for burns. Researchers at the Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, led by Sohn Young-sook, announced yesterday that their spray has received approval from the Korean Food & Drug Administration. Modern Tissue Technology Co. is working on commercializing the spray, which will be on the market in about two months. The new technology can be used in treating burns and in reconstructive plastic surgery. According to Ms. Sohn, the new method entails separating epidermal cells from healthy skin tissue to be applied to patients and culturing the cells for about two weeks, a process that results in the number of cells increasing by as much as 200-fold. The cultivated cells are then sprayed on the damaged skin, which will allow doctors to treat a larger area than if they used artificial skin grafts. Ms. Sohn said the cells can also stay alive in the injured skin longer than artificial skin cells can. “The sliced cheese-shaped artificial skin pieces of the past aren’t as effective, because they tend to die quickly in the wounded area,” she said. “Our technology is also a lot cheaper.” Another advantage to the new treatment is that the spray revives both the inner and outer layers of the skin. With artificial skin, patients have to undergo separate surgery to treat the outer layer. by Park Bang-ju

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