BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 19:00 GMT
No-scar skin graft promise
Pig
Pig skin was used in the research
Patients who receive skin grafts could benefit from a laser-activated glue, which would not leave scars.

At the moment, they can be left with inflammation or scarring from the chemical glues, surgical threads or staples used to secure the graft.

A team from Harvard Medical School in Boston found that a dye called rose bengal, normally used to stain patients' eyes in ophthalmic examinations, could be the answer.

They found that when it is illuminated with a green light, it formed a strong bond with the surrounding tissue.

Skin grafts are used in cosmetic surgery, and for burns victims.

No tissue damage

The Harvard team tested the theory by using thin sections of pig skin which included the outer layer, the epidermis, and the dermis layer beneath.


If it ultimately works, it could have many uses beyond treatment of wounds

David Young, San Francisco General Hospital
Two sections of skin were placed dermis to dermis, with a thin layer of dye between.

These were then illuminated with a green light from a laser for 15 minutes.

The laser was only heated the skin to just above body temperature and did not kill or damage the surrounding tissue.

It was found that the bond between the layers of skin was 15 times stronger after the laser treatment.

It was also twice as strong as the bond from standard glues.

The research was published in New Scientist.

Plastic surgeon David Young, who runs the burns unit at San Francisco General Hospital, told the magazine: "If it ultimately works, it could have many uses beyond treatment of wounds - you could seal blood vessels or join tissues with sutureless bonds."

He the technique was too slow to be practical, but the Harvard team plans to use a more powerful laser in a bid to create a bond faster.

The research was also published in the Journal of Surgical Research.

See also:

21 Jun 01 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes