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  • Writer's pictureDev Trivedi

Artificial Skin

Artificial skin is a synthetic or laboratory produced substitute for human skin that can dramatically save the lives of severely burned patients. The first synthetic skin was invented by John.F.Burke, chief of Trauma Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Loaniss V.Yannas, chemistry professor at the Massachusetts Institute of technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When placed on the wounds of lab animals, this synthetic skin seemed to encourage the growth of new skin cells around it.

Burke and Yannas made many improvements on their original invention. In 1979, they used the artificial skin on their first patient, a woman whose burns covered over half her body. After peeling away the burned tissue, Burke applied a layer of artificial skin and, where possible, grafted on some of her own unburned skin. Three weeks later, the woman’s skin was growing at an amazingly healthy rate.

Research is continually being done on artificial skin. Newer technologies, such as an autologous spray-on produced by Avita Medical, are being tested in efforts to accelerate healing and minimize scarring. Artificial skin can even be frozen for use in the future! Today, artificial skin is easily accepted by the human body.

When the skin has been seriously damaged through disease or burns, the body cannot act fast enough to manufacture the necessary replacement cells. If only the top layer is damaged, new skin will grow. But, if the burns are deep, the skin cannot repair itself. Infection sets in quickly, and the patient may die. To prevent this, a thin layer of skin is taken from another part of the body and grafted over the burnt area.

Skin,the largest organ of the human body, protects the body from disease and physical damage, and helps to regulate the body temperature and hence is one of the most important organs which is required for safety and hence such methods of replacement are necessary for safety of human life.

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