Regenerative Medicine Update – repairing hearts and spraying skin cells

UK Guardian – Scientists at this Wake Forest University facility have grown 22 different types of tissues and organs. Lives are being saved and more amazing successes are on the way.

Researchers in Boston and beyond are building everything from blood vessels to internal organs, using engineering tricks and dome-like bioreactors. On Monday Feb 6, 2011 at 10pm in “How to Build a Beating Heart,’’ National Geographic Explorer investigates those efforts to transform human health, revealing the pulse-quickeningly cool side of regenerative medicine.

Spray-On Skin Cells For Burn Victims

A new device can spray a burn victim’s own skin cells onto damaged skin and dramatically reduce how much time it takes for burn patient to recover.

The Skin-Cell Gun, as it’s called, earned that nickname because it basically works like a more complicated spray-paint gun. A doctor takes a biopsy from the patient’s undamaged skin to isolate the healthy stem cells. A water-based solution containing those healthy stem cells is then sprayed on the burn, and the patient is on the fast track to recovery.

The Skin-Cell gun process only takes an hour and a half from start to finish, compared to the old method using skin grafts that can take weeks or even months. While it can take several weeks for a patient to recover using traditional treatment, the Skin-Cell Gun process takes just a few days for a full recovery.

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