Handheld bio-printer from Canada will tighten wounds with a living skin
Four years ago, it became known about the creation of a 3D printer the size of a microwave oven, capable of printing skin grafts for the treatment of burns. Part of the development team continued the research, which resulted in the recent creation of a portable device that prints artificial skin directly on the site of burns.
A team of researchers from the University of Toronto, led by Navid Hakimi and Axel Gunther, created a gadget the size of a shoebox. The mechanism of its work, it resembles an adhesive tape dispenser, however, instead of it, it produces strips of tissue based on alginate (extract from seaweed kelp).
On the underside of each strip there are biochernil, which includes skin cells and collagen, a protein that forms the basis of connective tissue and ensures its elasticity and strength. This is the most durable protein in the skin, it plays an important role in wound healing.
With a weight less than a kilogram, the device without special preparation for two minutes covers the wound with a printed transplant. The effectiveness of his work was confirmed in the experiments on rats and pigs.
Now scientists are planning to increase the size of the transplant. This will allow to handle more extensive wounds and in the near future will give an opportunity to start clinical trials in humans.