Image credit – University of Toronto/Liz Do


There are various ways to treat those who have suffered burns on their bodies, but it seems that researchers at the University of Toronto have created what is being called as the “skin printer”, where it acts like white-out tape except for the skin. This method has several advantages over existing methods of treatment.

One of the ways to treat burns is to graft skin on top of the burnt area. However this requires healthy skin to be removed from a donor which sometimes might be hard to find, depending on the circumstance. Another method would be to use 3D printers to print “skin”, but according to one of the researchers, Professor Axel Guenther, this isn’t as practical because 3D bioprinters are too big, too slow, and expensive.

However with their handheld skin printer, the researchers have created a device that can form tissue and setting it on the person’s body all within two minutes or even less. Of course this isn’t the all-in-one solution when it comes to treating burns, but it is one of the ways to help speed up the treatment process.

So far the skin printer has yet to be tested on human subjects so it is unclear as to how effective this method of treatment might be, so far it has been tested on pigs and there are plans to scale up the printer so that it will be able to cover slightly wider surfaces.

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