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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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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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