Imagine a day when a bioprinter filled with a patient’s own cells can be wheeled right to the bedside to treat large wounds or burns by printing skin, layer by layer, to begin the healing process. That day is not far off.

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) scientists have created such a mobile skin bioprinting system — the first of its kind — that allows bi-layered skin to be printed directly into a wound.

“The unique aspect of this technology is the mobility of the system and the ability to provide on-site management of extensive wounds by scanning and measuring them in order to deposit the cells directly where they are needed to create skin,” said Sean Murphy, Ph.D., a WFIRM assistant professor who was lead author of the paper published this month in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal.

Affecting millions of Americans, chronic, large or non-healing wounds such as diabetic pressure ulcers are especially costly because they often require multiple treatments. It is also estimated that burn injuries account for 10-30 percent of combat casualties in conventional warfare for military personnel.

Read more at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center