Patient’s own stem cells used to heal burns

Posted Dec 6, 2016 by Tim Sandle
In an important scientific breakthrough a company has devised a spray, based on stem cells, that helps skin to regenerate after it has been badly burned. This is a replacement to skin grafts.
The stem cell-based spray has been devised by the medical technology company RenovaCare and the product is called the SkinGun. The basis of the spray is the patient’s own stem cells.
It is hoped the product will help burn victims and provide a solution that is more effective and less painful than traditional skin grafts (which require the skin from a donor to be grafted onto the recipient). In addition to the pain, skin grafts create wounds at the site of application and can leave scars. Post-surgery, painkillers and physiotherapy are required.
The RenovaCare product requires a small sample of the patient’s skin, around the size of a coin. In the laboratory, stem cells are released from the tissue and suspended in solution. The solution, when sprayed, forms a mist and the stem cells are transferred onto the skin of the patient and a cascade is triggered which initiates the healing process through regeneration.
One important part of the technology is the spray and considerable time was spent developing the spraying process. A controlled airflow is required to gently push the stem cells out of the solution. Studies, performed in Berlin and Pittsburgh, indicate the stem cells have a 97 percent survival rate. A high survival rate is critical to the healing process.
Speaking with Bioscience Technology RenovaCare CEO Thomas Bold explains the importance of the delivery system: “compared to conventional nozzles, the cells are never exposed to thrashing or turbulent forces and cell survival is really important.”
The process works by the cells being sprinkled over the wound, forming islands. Each island then begins the regenerative healing process. Through the spraying, an area up to 100 times the donor skin sample can be covered. The process is rapid, with the healing activity taking around 90 minutes.
The final step with the launching the product is gaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The developer is preparing clinical trials in order to meet the approval process.