Scientists have developed a device which sprays new skin cells onto wounds directly to heal them.

Doctors at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine have designed an inkjet like device that emits new skin cells onto damaged burn tissue. The device contains a tank holding a mixture of harvested skin cells, stem cells and nutrients and a computerized nozzle which first sprays a layer of fibroblast skin cells and then a layer of protective keratinocyte cells.

Doctors have tested the device on lab mice which revealed that the cell printer healed the wounds quicker and resulted in less scarring than conventional skin grafts. They now plan to have more trials with pigs and eventually with humans. If successful, the device will provide a fast alternative to delicate skin grafts.

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