March 01, 2019

Device produces cellular solution for burn healing

Burn wounds can be difficult to treat. Moderate to severe burns that extend deep into the skin are prone to serious complications and require prompt treatment. But a new device called the Recell System provides a treatment option that may speed recovery and improve outcomes for serious burns.

This system uses a small sample of the individual's healthy skin to create a mixture of enough cells — including stem cells — to regenerate a healthy and much larger layer of outer skin. Two clinical trials showed that burns treated with the Recell system required substantially less donor skin — 32 to 97.5 percent less — than did standard burn care involving skin grafting. The Recell System can generate in as little as 30 minutes enough cellular mixture to cover burn areas up to 80 times the size of the donor sample. However, precautions indicate it should be used only on individual burns up to 125 square inches — a little larger than a standard sheet of office paper — or for people with burns on less than 20 percent of their bodies.

The Recell System was given premarket approval by the Food and Drug Administration in September 2018. Other similar technologies are under investigation. Mayo Clinic experts look forward to seeing how this new technology impacts burn care.