Spray-on Skin


When an Arizona woman developed flu-like symptoms and pain under her armpit, doctors found it was an infection from a flesh-eating bacterium. The only solution was to operate and surgeons had to remove skin not only from under her arm but also left torso. To cover the wound, they would have to graft skin from other parts of her body but because so much skin had already been removed, they couldn't take much. That's when doctors applied to the FDA for the compassionate use of an experimental spray called ReCell. ReCell is being evaluated for treating severe burns.

It was introduced in two thousand five and has been shown to promote healing of burn wounds. In this case, a section of the woman's skin was taken and introduced into the device. A special enzyme is used to break the skin into individual cells including layers of the epidermis which includes the keratinocytes (which are skin cells), melanocytes (which produce pigment), and Langerhans cells (the skin's immune cells). Under the epidermis is the dermis which includes connective tissue. Once all these cells are separated, they become part of a suspension that promotes wound healing and growth of new cells and blood vessels. It's then sprayed onto the wound and skin grafts and in this case the skin was taken from the woman's thigh. Surgeons poked holes into the skin to stretch it over a larger area.

After one week, ninety five percent of the wound had healed, which is far faster than skin grafting alone. She was lucky since a quarter of people don't survive necrotizing faciitis, a rapidly spreading infection that kills cells quickly. She's also fortunate ReCell worked and hopefully will help many others not only heal but heal faster.

More Information

Characterisation of the cell suspension harvested from the dermal epidermal junction using a ReCell' kit
The use of non-cultured autologous cells to promote wound healing and in reconstructive procedures is increasing. One common method for preparing these cells is the use of the ReCell' device. However, despite its current clinical use, no characterisation of the cell suspension produced using a ReCell' device has been published...

Patient Pampblet: ReCell-Better outcomes, lower costs in burns treatment
The ReCell' device is used to create a Regenerative Epithelial Suspension - RES' - which can be used in conjunction with conventional treatments for burns and reconstructive procedures. ReCell' has been safely used in thousands of procedures worldwide and offers distinct advantages....

Skin spray heals US woman's flesh-eating bacteria wounds
An experimental skin spray has given a US woman back her skin after drug-resistant bacteria devoured most of the flesh on her left side...