Better skin for a better life for burn survivors

Sweden drives National and International collaboration to improve quality of life for burns survivors, saved through skin stem cell transplants

For the last 30 years patients with severe burns have received keratinocyte based epidermal sheet transplants to restore the barrier function of their lost skin. However, the regenerated skin lacks sweat glands and often fails to address damage to nerves and vasculature, meaning these patients lead far from normal lives. Folke Sjöberg, Professor at Linköping University and anesthesiologist at the Linköping burns treatment centre says “without sebaceous glands patient skin becomes very dry and requires topical lubrication twice daily for the rest of the patient’s life. Vascular damage and lack of hairs means that the patient’s skin is unable to perform proper thermoregulation and thus they cannot go outside when it is very warm. Nerve damage means that patients experience pain and itching in the new skin. These patients are far from cured with existing treatments.”

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