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Temple Burn Center Using Spray-On Skin™ Cells Technology to Offer Patients a New, Less Invasive Option for the Treatment of Severe Burns

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Temple University Hospital is now treating patients with the RECELL® System, a Spray-On Skin™ Cells technology approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2019 for the treatment of acute thermal second and third-degree burns in adult patients.    

Patients with severe burns often undergo split-thickness skin grafting, a surgical procedure that entails removing the burned skin and underlying tissue and replacing it with a thin layer of healthy skin (donor skin) from elsewhere on the body. Skin grafting can be very painful and leaves scarring and pigment changes at the burn site as well as the site where the healthy skin is harvested. 

The RECELL Autologous Cell Harvesting Device (RECELL System), manufactured by AVITA Medical, enables the surgeon to require less donor skin to achieve healing of burn wounds in less time. A small skin sample is collected from the patient and immersed in an enzyme solution to separate the patient’s own skin cells and produce Spray-On Skin cells. The resulting Regenerative Epidermal Suspension™ (RES™) includes keratinocytes, fibroblasts and melanocytes, types of cells which play a critical role in wound healing. The entire process can take as little as 30 minutes. The suspension is then sprayed onto the entire burn wound, providing a broad and even distribution of live cells across the entire wound. The RECELL System can be used to prepare enough RES to treat a wound up to 80 times the size of the donor skin sample, so a skin sample about the size of a credit card can be used to treat a wound that covers a patient’s entire back. 

“We are extremely pleased to be able to offer this new treatment option to our patients with severe burns,” said Lisa Rae, MD, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, and Director of the Temple Burn Center. “We believe this new technology can have a profound impact on multiple aspects of our patients’ recovery including reducing pain and scarring, improved joint mobility, faster healing, and an improved long-term cosmetic result compared to traditional skin grafting.” 

The Temple Burn Center offers a skilled team of surgeons, burn nurses, burn technicians, physical, occupational and respiratory therapists, psychologists and nutritionists, who are experienced in all phases of burn care – from the time of injury, rehabilitation and reconstructive care and beyond. It’s one of the region’s only burn centers at a Level 1 trauma center and one that is verified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons. The center is led by Dr. Rae, who is fellowship trained in burn surgery and trauma and critical care. 

Editor’s Note: Neither Dr. Rae nor any member of her immediate family has financial interest in AVITA Medical.