In a recent randomized controlled trial, a device that sprays a suspension of epithelial cells onto a burn site was shown to require 32% less donor skin than traditional grafting. ReCell®, made by Avita Medical Ltd (Avita; London, UK), required just a few square centimeters of skin to produce enough of the RES™ (regenerative epithelial suspension) to cover an average male torso.
This trial involved 30 patients who had suffered second-degree burns at 7 specialist burns centers in the USA, which part of their burn treated with ReCell and a control section treated with a standard autologous meshed skin graft. The ReCell-treated burns were found to be not inferior to the meshed skin graft in both durability of the healed area and cosmetic appearance.
“We are pleased to see further evidence that using a medical technology such as ReCell is not only clinically appropriate, but can also improve patient experience for burns victims at what is an extremely distressing time,” commented Mr Bruce Philp, Consultant Burns, Laser and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon, Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust (UK).
ReCell utilizes skin cells and wound healing factors harvested from a healthy area of the body to produce a liquid suspension that can be sprayed onto the burn site, speeding up the body’s natural healing process. ReCell has also been shown to be effective in treating deep partial-thickness burns in an earlier clinical trial of 101 patients. In this study, ReCell was demonstrated to offer comparable wound closure compared to traditional autografts and better scar outcomes in terms of height.
Dr James Holmes, a burns surgeon at Wake Forest Medical Center (NC, USA), who was involved in the trial, explained: "Treatments for serious burns have been starved of innovation for too long. Unlike advancements in most areas of medicine, we've been using the same operative treatments for the past 30 years. Removing substantial areas of healthy skin from the unharmed area of a seriously burned patient, for use in a graft, has obvious limitations, particularly when we have a shortage of donor sites.
“New technologies such as ReCell will help surgeons get around this problem and move to a new standard of care for burn patients."
Source: Avita press release