Stem cells are cells in the body that are able to develop into any cell as they mature. A biotech firm from New York, called RenovaCare, is researching and developing a new technology to harness this unique ability of stem cells in order to help patients who have suffered severe burns. Their new technology is called the SkinGun. Stem cells (taken from areas of unharmed skin of the patient) are put into a syringe with a solution and sprayed. Unharmed skin and a safe spray is necessary in order to prevent harm to the cells, as harmed cells could be affected. According to Thomas Bold, the president and CEO of RenovaCare (also one of the engineers at the firm), almost all of the cells from the syringe will be unharmed.
Currently, RenovaCare is attempting to have their treatment approved by the Food and Drug administration. Forty-seven patients have been assisted, and although the treatment and technology isn’t completely finalized, the results are currently looking positive. While skin grafting is an effective technique employed today, the SkinGun actually leaves minimal scarring in comparison. Scar tissue can restrict mobility and function, so minimizing this would completely change the healing process for burn victims. Additionally, support behind the SkinGun will lead to a push forward in stem cell research as well.
After expanding on the SkinGun, RenovaCare also wishes to further develop and apply their method of extracting stem cells from the skin, named the CellMist System. While burn treatment and various skin disorders are helped through the SkinGun currently, the company wants to increase the methods in which they can apply.
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Scutti, S. (2016, December 07). Experimental SkinGun heals burns using stem cells. Retrieved December 22, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/07/health/skingun-burn-care-technologies/
I. Introduction: What are stem cells, and why are they important? (n.d.). Retrieved December 22, 2016, from https://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/1.htm