British biotech company Intercytex shows that its artificial skin might make painful grafts a thing of the past. Intercytex's ICX-SKN is made out of fibrin–the same stuff your body uses to heal wounds–and fully integrates with test subjects' skin in 28 days, leaving little behind to show for the damage. The fibrin matrix that ICX-SKN takes advantage of also contains fibroblasts, the little guys in your body that create and maintain animal tissue, so the artificial skin bonds naturally and seamlessly over a wound with natural skin. Intercytex has managed to clear a few of the hurdles when it comes to skin replacement, though challenges remain. More after the jump.
In the past, researchers had a hell of a time trying to get artificial skin to not only last, but to bond with the body as well. Skin that degraded too fast wouldn't give the wound proper coverage, and without bonding the patient might as well just use Band-Aids. But ICX-SKN lasts and integrates. Researchers at Intercytex have still found some scarring, albeit little, after treating small, controlled wounds. If the artificial skin is refined, it would be a wonderful aid in repairing the damage done by burns and serious accidents, without having to take existing skin from the patient for a graft.
Artificial skin may reduce need for grafts [NewScientist]