Artificial skin set to revolutionise scar healing process

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Artificial skin Scar Wound healing

A British biotechnology company has created an artificial skin that
is reported to significantly reduce scarring and burn wounds.

UK company Intercytex has disclosed information in the Regenerative Medicine journal that the artificial skin showed promising preliminary results in early trials regarding the effectiveness of the artificial skin on wound healing and scarring. The artificial skin, ICX-SKN, is claimed to be more significant than alternative substitutes in the past due to the formulation - created from a matrix made up of fibrin, a protein found wounds that are in the healing process. Added to human fibroblasts, cells used to synthesise new tissue, the artificial skin produces collagen, making the complex more stable and aiding the artificial skin to more closely replicate how the body makes new skin. Results showed that the laboratory made skin was fully integrated after just 28 days, and had produced a closed and healed wound site. The off-the-shelf skin replacement product is said to be revolutionary for patients affected by burns and skin damage, with the cosmetic implications beneficial for consumers who wish to avoid the painful process of skin grafts. Tests were carried out on six healthy volunteers, with researchers cutting a section of their skin and replacing it with the artificial skin. According to the company the skin had remained stable and little scarring was present. Scar healing is a procedure that many cosmetic manufacturers are yet to discover formulations for. However, a US study reported that the anti-wrinkle treatment, Botox could help clear up facial wounds faster, leading to less scarring. In a study published in an issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings last year, a team led by Professor David Sherris at the University of Buffalo in New York revealed that its research work showed that the botox injections can do more than just help prevent wrinkles. Professor Sherris said that the research work carried out at the Mayo Clinic during the past seven years had culminated in the first blinded trial demonstrating that injecting botox during the wound healing process results in less visible scars. "The reason this works is because wide scars are the result of the local muscles pulling the wound apart during the healing phase,"​ Professor Sherris said. "Botunlinum toxin temporarily weakens the surrounding muscles, thereby lessening the pull on the wound during the acute healing phase of the first 2-4 months."​ The trial involved patients with facial wounds or those undergoing cancer surgery. The researchers chose only patients having treatment to their foreheads because this area is particularly susceptible to scarring. US natural cosmetics company, Max Green Alchemy has recently stated that its new plant range containing the Rosa moschata oil can also help reduce facial scarring. The company claims that the oil-based treatments, Radiance Face Oils, can significantly reduce fine lines, wrinkles, rosacea and scarring due to the healing properties of the plant-derived ingredients.

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