A new way to produce engineered skin not only appears to overcome several pitfalls of current skin grafting technologies, it also speeds up the healing process, reduces scarring and produces hair. The method, outlined in the October issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, could represent a breakthrough for treating deep skin injuries that result from severe burns and chronic wounds.
A deep skin injury completely destroys the skin’s regenerative elements. These wounds heal by contraction, with epithelization (the process by which a new layer of skin is formed) only at the edges. The result is generally reduced joint movement and extensive scarring. In the case of an extensive lesion, healing can sometimes be unsuccessful and the lesion becomes life threatening.