Various solutions and wound dressings are now recommended for patients with full-thickness burns. These burns of all thicknesses destroy all layers of the skin, and the proposed wound dressings each have limitations and disadvantages for treating these wounds. These sores include cow collagen and engineered skin alternatives, which are not ideal. Collagen scaffolds rely on tissues and cells adjacent to the wound for complete healing, while extracorporeal skin substitutes take several weeks to produce and are difficult for patients to use.
To solve these problems, the researchers designed a manual system for printing or depositing plates of progenitor cells on the wound that could provide an alternative to the size, shape, and topography of the wound. This 3D handheld printer uses a fibrin-based biological ink combined with mesenchymal stromal cells. This biological substance supports the growth of local cells and is printed directly on the wound.
The most important advantage of this handheld printer is that it allows the biological layer to settle evenly on different surfaces of the wound. Testing of this printer on the pig burn model showed that uniformly printed skin plates on the wound with mesenchymal stem cells could greatly reduce inflammation, scar tissue, and skin contraction. Researchers believe that they can use this approach and this technology for human burns in the near future.