RenovaCare looks to use skin as ‘natural bioreactor’ to treat burns

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/wavemovies
Image: iStock/wavemovies

Related tags Stem cells Wound healing

A device that isolates and sprays a patient’s own stem cells onto serious burns could have significant implications in the organ regeneration industry, says developer RenovaCare.

RenovaCare’s CellMist technology is intended to treat patients with serious skin burns and wounds within 90 minutes of arriving in an emergency room by spraying on stem cells using its proprietary SkinGun device.

A video of the system​ sent to was enough to pique our interest, so we spoke to RenovaCare CEO Thomas Bold to see how his firm’s technology fit in the biopharma space.

“The CellMist Solution is a liquid suspension containing a patient’s own regenerative skin stem cells. A small sample - as little as a square inch - of the patient’s skin is quickly processed to liberate the stem cells from surrounding tissue,”​ he told us.

But unlike cell therapies in development, the technology does not require the culturing or growing of stem cells per se, and does not use growth factors or post-treatment therapeutics to promote the growth of the stem cells.

“Instead, the patient's own wound acts as a natural bioreactor system, ideal for 'self-culturing' and expanding the cells to heal the wound from within,”​ said Bold.

“Once the stem cells are 'distributed' over the wound, their natural growth is in an outwards direction. As these cells grow outwards, they start to make contact with each other, ultimately healing the wound,”​ he continued, telling us it is like each droplet of cells is an 'island' that grows outwards, eventually connecting together and healing the wound.

The product is still under development, and the New York, New York-headquartered firm is pursuing regulatory clearances through the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) medical device pathway.

However, the technology for stem cell extraction and ultra-gentle spray could have have “significant implications” ​within the field of organ regeneration, and according to Bold the current application is targeting the human body's largest organ, the skin, and the $45bn medical and cosmetic industry surrounding it.

“The CellMist system targets an estimated 143 million patients worldwide who suffer burns, chronic and acute wounds, acne scarring, and skin defects and diseases such as vitiligo - a skin discoloration condition, suffered by celebrities Michael Jackson and Jon Hamm.” 

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