MAR 01, 2019 07:20 AM PST

Mobile Bedside Bioprinter Can Heal Wounds

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Chronic, large or non-healing wounds such as diabetic pressure ulcers—have become a debilitating condition affecting millions of Americans. Now, in a study published in Nature's Scientific Reports journal, scientists at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) have developed a mobile skin bio-printing system allowing bi-layered skin to be printed directly into a wound.

A mobile skin bioprinter operated on a demo limb by a Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine technician.

Credit: WFIRM, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM)

"The unique aspect of this technology is the mobility of the system and the ability to provide on-site management of extensive wounds by scanning and measuring them in order to deposit the cells directly where they are needed to create skin," says Sean Murphy, Ph.D., a WFIRM assistant professor and lead author of the study.

Scientists provided proof-of-concept of the creation by printing skin directly onto pre-clinical models. Originally, the cells are added in a hydrogel mixture before being added into the bio-printer where integrated imaging technology will transfer ‘data’ from scanning the wound into the software-- accelerating the formation of functional skin structure.

"The technology has the potential to eliminate the need for painful skin grafts that cause further disfigurement for patients suffering from large wounds or burns," said WFIRM Director Anthony Atala, M.D., and a co-author of the paper. "A mobile bioprinter that can provide on-site management of extensive wounds could help to accelerate the delivery of care and decrease costs for patients."

The next step is to conduct a clinical trial in humans. Current treatments for skin wounds involve grafts, however, adequate coverage is a challenge when the availability of healthy skin is limited as well as the risk of immune rejection. However, with the WFIRM bioprinter system many of these challenges have been addressed.

Watch this B-roll video of the mobile bio-skin printer developed by the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine:

"If you deliver the patient's own cells, they do actively contribute to wound healing by organizing up front to start the healing process much faster," said James Yoo, M.D., Ph. D, who led the research team and co-authored the paper. "While there are other types of wound healing products available to treat wounds and help them close, those products don't actually contribute directly to the creation of skin."

Source: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM)

 

About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JAN 23, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 23, 2020
"Sea-thru" Algorithm Clarifies Underwater Photos
Have you ever tried to take photographs underwater, only to be sorely disappointed by the results? Pictures of vivid underwater scenery usually appear very...
JAN 23, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
JAN 23, 2020
Astronauts help to advanced personalized medicine
Extreme temperatures and lethal levels of radiation are just some of the hazards faced by astronauts as they traverse the harsh conditions of space. Additi...
JAN 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 23, 2020
Self-learning, Light-responsive Robot Inspired by Pavlov's Dog
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov famously trained the canines in his experiments to salivate in response to the sound of a metronome, which was a showcase...
JAN 23, 2020
Technology
JAN 23, 2020
Integrating Deep Learning for Online Shopping
As the holiday season approaches an end, all of us are familiar with online shopping. To shop on websites, we typically string a few words together to sear...
JAN 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 23, 2020
Century-old Bretherton's Bubble Problem Solved
Some of the most common phenomena in life also hide puzzling mysteries.  When you pour water into a glass, many air bubbles would often appear. Becaus...
JAN 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 23, 2020
It's Finally the Year of the Mars 2020 Mission
It’s officially 2020, and with that in mind, anyone paying attention to NASA’s launch schedule should know already that the Mars 2020 rover is...
Loading Comments...