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Bioengineered Skin Grafts Fit Like a Glove

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Engineered skin in the shape of a human hand.

The researchers next plan to test the grafts on larger animals with skin biology that more closely matches that of humans. Clinical trials on humans are likely years away.

Credit: Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Columbia University researchers have developed a method for growing engineered skin in complex, three-dimensional (3D) shapes to make it easier to graft skin onto irregularly shaped body parts by slipping the skin on like clothing.

Columbia's Hasan Erbil Abaci said 3D engineered skin "would dramatically minimize the need for suturing, reduce the length of surgeries, and improve aesthetic outcomes."

It also functions better than conventional grafts that are pieced together.

Creation of the skin grafts begins with a three-dimensional (3D) laser scan of the target structure, such as a human hand; then a hollow, permeable model is crafted using computer-aided design and 3D printing.

Using this method, the researchers were able to graft engineered skin onto the hind limbs of mice, which Abaci said "was like putting a pair of shorts on" them.

From Columbia University Irving Medical Center
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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