Whle experimental, 12 burn victims have already been successfully treated with the “skin gun”, a device that takes adult stem cells from a burn victim’s only healthy skin and sprays it on to the damaged area. According to Dr. Jorg C. Gerlach and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, the process involves “isolating stem cells from a healthy patch of the patient’s skin, putting those cells in a water solution, and then spraying the mixture back on. After being sprayed, the patient’s wound is covered with a special dressing that provides glucose, sugar, amino acids, antibiotics and electroytes to the treated area, to provide nutrition and clean the wound until the stem cells get established. The whole process takes 90 minutes and burns have been reportedly achieved in as few as four days.” Continue reading for a video and more information.
The largest flaw of existing burns treatment is that the patient can die from infection in the time it takes to grow new layers of skin in the lab. On the video excerpt, Dr Steven Wolf, of the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research , in San Antonio, Texas, says, “If we can find a way to get normal healthy skin, as much of it as we want, within a week – that’s the holy grail of burn surgery.”