Skin in a can? New technology helps heal burns

Posted Oct. 11, 2011, at 4:27 p.m.
Jörg C. Gerlach
National Geographic
Jörg C. Gerlach

A futuristic way of healing burn victims might help avoid infections in patients.

“The reason why people die is because of infections that develop while we’re waiting for the skin to heal,” explains a doctor in a video from the National Geographic. “So if we can find a way to get normal healthy skin, as much of it as we want, within a week, that’s the holy grail of burn surgery,” he continues.

Jörg C. Gerlach might hold the answer. His new treatment uses the patient’s own stem cells in a solution that is then applied with what amounts to a spray gun. He says, “Skin cell spraying is like paint spraying.” While the treatment is still experimental, it has already treated several burn victims.

The video above contains some graphic images, so those with a weak stomach might want to avoid watching.

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