SkinGun shoots burn victims with their own stem cells
Guns are often thought about for their destructive nature, but a new kind of gun is set to help heal rather than harm. Called the SkinGun, the device applies stem cells to the site of a burn in a novel way, helping increase both treatment and recovery time over standard methods. New tests show that it delivered a healing spray with 200 times more coverage than traditional methods.
When a patient is taken into an emergency room with burns, time is critical. Yet grafting procedures can often take hours and the recovery time can be lengthy and painful. Using stem cells to help a patient heal and regrow their own skin is steadily proving to be a better solution, but applying the stem cells properly is vital.
Tests on the SkinGun from RenovaCare carried out by scientists at the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), showed an extensive coverage area of the stem cells. In an 8-cm diameter surface area (about 3.15 inches), the SkinGun shot out over 20,000 droplets, versus only 91 by conventional methods, which involve depositing the cells using a syringe.
What's more, the SkinGun uses an extremely gentle spray method, so that cells aren't damaged as they're expelled from the device. According to RenovaCare, tests showed that 97.3 percent of the cells remained viable after being applied by the SkinGun.
To use the SkinGun, doctors need to take a small sample (which can be as little as a square inch) of a patient's healthy skin and process it to release the patient's stem cells into what RenovaCare calls a CellMist solution. The gun is then loaded with this solution and sprayed onto damaged skin. Treatment can take place in as little as 90 minutes upon arrival in an emergency room.
While RenovaCare says its device is targeted at the US$45 billion wound and burn market in the United States, the device is not yet available there as it is still under research and development.
You can see the gun and its spray pattern in this video from the company.