"Skin Printer" Generates Skin to Cover Injuries

Researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine are developing a printer that they hope can create skin to help injured soldiers immediately after they're hurt:

The system, which lays down cells with the same fluid-based inkjet technology used in many printers, could print large swathes of living tissue directly onto the injuries of soldiers wounded on the battlefield. Covering burns and related wounds is of critical importance because, the scientists note, "any loss of full-thickness skin of more than 4 cm in diameter will not heal by itself."

Tests on mice revealed advanced healing by both the second and third week of recovery, with complete closure and formation of scar tissue by week three in treated (but not untreated) subjects. The printer has two heads, one of which ejects skin cells mixed with fibrinogen (a blood coagulant) and type I collagen (the main component of the connective tissue in scars). The other head ejects thrombin (another coagulant).


Link via DVICE | Photo: US Army, used under Creative Commons license

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I can't agree with you three about wars always being useless. The number one thing that a country has a right to is to defend its way of life, for better or for worse. What comes with that responsibility is the united states spends half a trillion dollars a year making sure that our citizens arnt forced to be in the military. we are safe enough that our high school graduates do not NEED to go to places like iraq and afghanistan if they dont WANT too.

What this money goes into directly affects civilian life, just usually a few years later. half the industrial machinery has arrived due to a demand met in wartime. computers were developed at the end of WW2 to calculate artillery strikes and bombing missions. The internet itself was thought up of to provide a form of communication even if half the country was nuked by russia. Wars provide the largest catalist for government and civilian money to be used for lasting impacts. This skin graphing is just one of litterally thousands of medical impacts being implimented since the wars in iraq and afghanistan.

The number one focus for the us military is survivability. in the last decade we have placed nearly half a million american lives in one of the most hostile places in the world, yet less than five thousand have been killed. now, i agree with everyone that five thousand is still five thousand too high. but just read history and look at the pure amount of human life lost in each campaign, war, etc.

now, as keith mentioned, why does the money go to "soldiers on the battlefield" rather than hospitals, communities, etc.... well keith, during LBJ's term as president he started the war against poverty. he believed, as most americans do, that poverty is too high in our nation. and as the greatest nation on earth we should provide care for our lowely, cast outs, and others. well keith, since LBJ started that in the 60s the US civilian population, as well our government, has spend over $12,000,000,000,000 for the causes of fighting poverty.

do you think if you went to brooklyn or south side of chicago it would look any different than it did 12 trillion ago? no, it wouldnt.

now, look at the US military of the vietnam era, where 58 thousand americans lost their lives, and look at iraq, where less than 10% that number have parished. i see a big freaking difference.

this technology is truely a miracle, and we should be greatful for every advancement of medicine, whether its for "troops on the battlefield" or for the poor of LA.
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It's amazing to me that anyone would even think of doing this.

I agree that the best way to save lives is to not have stupid and unnecessary wars, but we can try to get something good from it.
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No doubt, going to war isn't the best way to save your skin... Working to find a peaceful solution would probably keep more people from becoming casualties.
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why are new technologies and medicine always for "soldiers in the battlefield" ??? why cant we be developing these things for hospitals or any of the billions of non-military people across the world? ARG!
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