Saturday, July 24, 2010


■N.Z. firm prepares for large-scale production of skin substitute

A New Zealand veterinarian has developed a human tissue substitute for patients with burns and other severe skin damage. Mesynthes CEO Brian Ward derives the material from sheep tissue that has had immunological components removed. The result is a strong, well-tolerated material that promotes blood-vessel growth. Stuff (New Zealand)/Business Day (7/19)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


■Scientists develop synthetic skin in laboratory using cell line

In an effort to find a treatment for severe burns and chronic skin wounds, a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is working with a cell line that it hopes is capable of developing into natural human skin. A study showed that the skin proved to be safe and effective in treating 15 patients with severe burns for a week. They plan to conduct a Phase II trial in the coming months to test whether the laboratory-derived skin is effective for long-term use, the lead researcher said. The Wall Street Journal (7/6)


■French surgeon performs full face transplant

Dr. Laurent Lantieri, a surgeon at Henri-Mondor hospital in Creteil, France, performed a full face transplant on a 35-year-old man with neurofibromatosis. "The most difficult part of the operation was to connect the tear duct that goes through the bone," Lantieri said. The procedure could eventually be used to help burn victims.

Facial transplantation for severe deformities of the face related to accidents and injuries, burns, dog bites, cancer and congenital deformities will become more common in the future.  The first partial facial transplant in the U.S. was performed at the Cleveland Clinic.  Micro-vascular surgery and immune modulation have advanced to a high level, which makes these procedures more feasible. This is an exciting new field in plastic and reconstructive surgery, but there are still many ethical issues to address in these cases.