Treating serious burns is a time-consuming process that normally takes weeks or months, leaving patients open to dangerous infections as they heal. This newly-developed stem cell shooting spray gun reduces healing time to days. Warning: graphic video inside.
Most of the damage from serious burns doesn't come from flames. It comes from infections brought on by a lack of protection due to damaged skin. The lengthy healing process associated with major burns can leave patients open to such infections for months, even with proper care and wound dressing.
Doctor Jörg Gerlach of the University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine has created a method that has patients regenerating new skin in days using stem cells.
Now before everyone flies off the handle, these aren't the embryonic stem cells that have been so controversial over the past decade. These are skin stem cells harvested from the patient themselves; adult stem cells.
The cells are applied via a spray mechanism over the area damaged by the burn, and the results speak for themselves in the National Geographic video below.
Again this video contains graphic images of burn wounds. You've been warned twice now. Sometimes science gets a little ugly.
For more facinating advances in regenerative medicine, tune into National Geographic's Explorer on Monday, February 7.
How to Build a Beating Heart [National Geographic via Reddit]