Cadaveric skin donated for leg ulcer grafts
University Hospital South Manchester (UHSM), in the UK, has begun trials using donated skin from cadavers as grafts to treat leg ulcers.
Decellularised dermis (DCD) are cells taken from the skin of cadavers and used on leg ulcers in a new study at UHSM. For this treatment, patients do not have to be admitted to hospital, nor undergo general anaethetic. The procedure takes an hour and involves cleaning the wound thoroughly with a highly pressurised water spray. DCD is available in sheets and is cut specifically to the size of the ulcer, while a dressing is placed on top to hold the DCD in place. Wounds generally reduce size within weeks. In one case, the leg ulcer healed completely in 10 weeks using this method.
'DCD is applied to a leg ulcer to 'kick start' healing in wounds which have become static and resistant to traditional treatments,' said Mr Ardeshir Bayat, a clinician scientist in plastic surgery who is leading the trial. 'It is thought that the DCD attracts the patients own 'healing' cells into a wound, thereby producing the right environment for wound healing to occur. UHSM is the only trust in the UK that has been approved to trial this new product and we are delighted with the preliminary finding of patients on the study.'
Trials continue, but it is believed this will be an important graft method for many types of vascular wounds.
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Image: Skin. Credit: Furryscaly on Flickr.