Surgeons and doctors at the University of Utah are testing out a topical spray that utilizes a person’s own stem cells to treat their wounds.
- The treatment consists of removing red cells and combining a concentration of platelets and progenitor cells with calcium and thrombin;
- The final mixture looks like Jell-O, and the application process takes about 15 minutes;
- The process was tested out on a patient who had an open wound on her foot that weeks of treatment including a skin graft had failed to heal;
- The patient initially thought they were going to inject something into her foot and was excited to hear it was, instead, a spray that would be applied during a 2nd graft.;
- But any bacteria must be removed before the spray can be used.
Stem cells are already used to help patients recover from heart surgery, but their use on burns is fairly new.
- While the patients’ burn is healing, so is her heart;
- Stem cells were used during her bypass surgery 5 weeks ago to hasten healing for that procedure as well;
- The technology could have a great effect on the treatment of burns of all sizes.
The spray, one of many developments in the world of regenerative medicine could have many long-term benefits for patients.
- Healing can be accelerated or improved;
- The issue is decreasing the scarring process;
- Researchers are starting with a biological Band-Aid but hope to eventually end up with synthetic skin that’s derived from a person’s own cells;
- The military is already keeping a close eye on the Utah project, as the technology would be helpful for treating burns on soldiers.