Stem Cell Research
Stem cells - An alternative to skin grafting?
Apr 7, 2006 - 1:45:37 PM

A Singapore company has used stem cells to help victims of serious burns and other wounds grow fresh skin, its chief medical officer said in a report published Friday.

While some more research work has to be done to test the new treatment, Dr Ivor Lim of the Singapore-based Cell Research Corporation said, "the procedure has allowed three patients so far to do away with painful skin grafts".

The company led the research work at the National Hospital of Traditional Medicine and St Paul's Hospital Burns Centre in Vietnam.

The treatment involves growing stem cells on synthetic scaffolds and transferring them onto the patients' wounds. Stem cells are cells that have the ability to continuously divide and develop into various other kinds of cell or tissues.

In case of stem cell treatment "the healing rate has been as fast as with a conventional skin graft, with no complications or rejection", Lim told The Straits Times.

"It would also be a help for patients who are so badly wounded they do not have enough skin for a graft," he added.

Wound healing is widely regarded as an area, which will reap the rewards of stem cell research early.

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