Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Fix Skin

Engineered skin substitute with anti-bacterial, immune and wound-healing properties

26 August 2022

Fix Skin

Our skin is a deceptively complex material, delicate but strong, protective but permeable. An ideal artificial skin substitute for wound healing must support blood vessel growth, have antibacterial properties, and be sufficiently porous for air and moisture exchange. A new approach has developed a scaffold to grow such tissue-engineered material by incorporating a glass-ceramic onto electrospun nanofibres made of chitosan – a sugar from shellfish outer skeletons – and gelatin (pictured). The scaffold was also laced with silver, which provides antibacterial properties, and was found to be compatible with the body and blood, and promoted cell growth. Connective cells (pink) fully attached and spread over the scaffold, and researchers then treated wounds on mice. The scaffolds showed good vessel and protein growth, and even supported the regeneration of glands and hair follicles, which means this approach may help wounds repair without leaving a scar.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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