17 April 2002
New research offers hope for burns victims
NEW techniques that may eventually improve the current methods of treating serious burns are being developed at Aston University in Birmingham.
An international team of researchers is developing special biodegradable membranes or scaffolds to support new skin growth over serious burns. The eventual hope is that the new process will improve wound healing, reduce scar tissue formation and avoid the need for healthy skin grafts to be taken from other areas of the patient's body for use at the repair site.
The work aims to mimic the structure of living skin using tissue engineering principles. Living skin substitutes are already commercially available in the US, but the team of researchers at Aston is hoping that their new approach will improve on existing products.
The research programme is being carried out by Dr Allan Coombes and Dr Eric Adams from the School of Pharmacy at Aston University and Dr Dr Niann-tzyy Dai from the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taiwan. Dr Dai is visiting Aston on a one-year government grant and is a specialist in plastic surgery, burns and hand surgery.
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