Burn injuries are probably the worst traumas an individual could go through. These injuries are not only incredibly painful, but have a high rate of mortality, particularly once an individual has a 3rd degree burn over 40% of their body. Allograft Tissue is a possible solution for these patients.
In fact, of the 11 million people affected by burns every year, over 180,000 die from the sustained injuries. In order to increase the survival rate of the burn victims, it’s necessary to cover the wound with dressings which protect the patient from blood toxicity and further infection.
Historically, burn victims might require skin grafts from non affected parts of their body, or from donors willing to provide the organ transplant (remember, skin is an organ too and the largest in terms of surface area).
However, there have been recent advancements in regenerative medicine for burn victims which are providing significant hope for affected patients. We are going to dive into these advancements.
How Does Regenerative Medicine Help Burn Patients?
Regenerative medicine therapy for burn wound treatment is already providing significant superior evidence in many studies compared to the traditional burn wound treatment.
There are two primary reasons…
Research has found an increased regulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines and a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, stem cells have been shown to improve bacterial cleaning within the body while regulating a variety of immune response cells (like T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells).
Difference Between Autograft and Allograft Therapy Burn Treatment?
There is a key difference between autograft and allograft in regards to providing healing for burn victims.
Autograft – this is when a patient’s own skin tissue is used for replacing the skin. This provides fast healing and is considered the safest because it’s coming from the individual’s own skin on a different site of the body. However, the issue is the introduction of an additional surgical area which requires recovery time for an already injured person.
Allograft – this is skin tissue taken from a donor (not the patient) and must be incorporated into the body. A donor would be needed who undergoes a surgical procedure to remove their skin in an effort to provide a healing dress for the patient. The recipient’s body will take longer to incorporate the skin onto the body, but luckily there are almost no rejections like other organ transplants.
As you can see, in both cases an individual is required to provide skin as a donation to the affected portion of the burn victim. This is where regenerative medicine is providing significant advancements and is showing potential because it may eliminate the need for donors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Could Cell Therapy Help Burn Patients?
Wound healing requires a variety of factors all working cohesively to produce regeneration. This balance includes chemokines, cytokines, and growth factors for proper wound healing. The complexity of these factors makes traditional healing incredibly difficult. However, regenerative medicine may help with accelerated healing, reduction of scar tissue formation, regeneration of skin in deep burns, and a reduced inflammatory response.
Final Thoughts On Cell Therapy For Burn Patients
As you can see, the future is very bright for the treatment of burn wounds. Regenerative medicine is quickly proving to be a superior option compared to traditional strategies for healing, with significant evidence pointing to faster recovery periods.