Spray-on Skin Is a Reality

The skin gun is not science fiction—it's a prototype medical device that literally sprays skin cells onto burn victims to re-grow skin. Old methods like skin grafts took weeks to heal; the skin gun needs about an hour.

We've heard about the spray-on skin gun back in 2008 but we didn't think it'd become this real, this useful, this fast. Though it is still technically in an experimental stage, the skin gun has already successfully treated over a dozen burn victims. The way it works is by using stem cells from the patient's healthy skin and mixing it with a solution to come up with the spray paint. And combined with that fancy gun, the rest is easy. Doctors say "skin cell spraying is like paint spraying".

The video has some graphic burn images, so don't watch unless you have the stomach for it. This clip will also air on National Geographic's Explorer: How to Build a Beating Heart. Stem cells have long been a point of controversy but this is really wonderful science at work. [National Geographic]