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AFIRM: Research Areas: Burn Repair

Burn Repair

Burns injuries afflict both war fighters and civilians almost equally. There is high morbidity and mortality associated with burns though recent advances in resuscitation and critical care have led to a significant reduction. AFIRM will improve burn wound management and further minimize acute complications and chronic functional impairment.

Current treatment options include administering antibiotics and tissue excision for deeper burns which are then replaced with tissue substitutes. However, AFIRM will tackle the problems associated with these methods and use regenerative medicine to

  1. prevent wound infection
  2. prevent burn inflammation and injury extension
  3. speed generation of a viable wound bed and reduce reharvest time of autograft donor sites
  4. improve skin substitutes for burn wound grafting when autografts are not immediately available
  5. prevent and manage scars

The AFIRM Treatment of Burns and Inflammation, Healing without Scarring, Skin Replacement Program will address these clinical challenges and dilemmas by using new technologies in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering to provide surgeons with advanced tools and new options for repair, regeneration and restoration of skin, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels damaged in burn injuries. The goal is to allow victims of severe military or civilian trauma to be able to recover from their injuries more rapidly, more reliably, with function and esthetics.



Graphic showing the engineered Skin Substitute (ESS) with human melanocytes added to restore skin color

Engineered Skin Substitute (ESS) with human melanocytes added to restore skin color.
Pigment develops by 5 weeks after grafting to full-thickness wounds in athymic mice. (The ESS technology has been licensed to Cutanogen Corporation which is a wholly-owned subidiary of Lonza Walkersville, Inc.)

Last Modified Date: 05 Mar 2010