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This mobile bed can help cure wounds

Wounds can affect the skin, however, scientists are trying to speed up the healing process with a new device: a mobile bioprinter that can help treat injured patients.

Vake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (VFIRM) scientists have recently developed a mobile bioprint skin system that allows dual-layer skin to be printed directly in the wound. The team that posted their findings in Scientific Reports On February 12, they discovered that this treatment, which would use the patient's own cells to "print" the skin and speed up the healing process, could be helpful to the hospitals in the future.

"Technology has the potential to eliminate the need for painful skin transplants that cause further disorders in patients suffering from large wounds or burns," said VFIRM Director Anthony Atala, MSc. "A mobile bioprinter that can provide extensive wounds on the spot can help speed up delivery and reduce costs for patients."

Picture of a major mobile bioprinter. (Photo: Vake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine)

According to research, chronic, large or non-healing wounds can be expensive for patients and take too much healing time. However, a mobile bioprinter can offer a faster, cheaper solution for burns and sores using a mixture of the main skin cells, including dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes, and "print" a wound mixture to accelerate skin recovery.

For this bioprinter to be tested, the team printed the skin on pre-clinical models. First, the main cells of the skin are mixed in a hydrogel and placed in a bioprinter. Then, integrated imaging technology, which includes a scanner for the wound, provides information in the software to tell the print heads where to deliver cells layer by layer in the wound. The team discovered that this system quickly replicates and accelerates the formation of skin cells, so wounds can be repaired for a shorter period of time.

After their experiment, the team's next move is to test bioprinter in a clinical trial in humans. While skin transplants are currently used for the treatment of burns and wounds, they can be challenging, due to the limited availability of healthy skin for transmission. With bioprinter, healthcare professionals can quickly regenerate skin cells of the patient without the need for transplantation or donors in the future.

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