The printer has two heads, one of which ejects skin cells mixed with fibrinogen (a blood coagulant) and type I collagen (the main component of the connective tissue in scars). The other head ejects thrombin (another coagulant).
Like the components of quick-setting resins which must be kept separate until mixing causes a chemical reaction that hardens the resin, the products of the two print heads mix to immediately form fibrin, yet a third protein involved in the clotting of blood. The whole confection is topped by a layer of keratinocytes (i.e. skin cells), which are also printed.
Future iterations of the research will be conducted on pigs (which have skin that more closely resembles that of humans), and it's not clear when, if ever, such a device might appear in a field hospital in Afghanistan, not to mention your local burn center.
Burns cause 4000 deaths per year in the USA and there are 500,000 burns treated each year in the USA
* Hospitalizations for Burn Injury Per Year in the USA: 40,000 total, including 25,000 admissions to hospitals with specialized burn centers
* Total Body Surface Area Burned (TBSA): Over one-third of admissions (38%) exceeded 10% TBSA, and 10% exceeded 30% TBSA. Most included severe burns of such vital body areas as the face, hands and feet.
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