Italians rebuild and graft human skin

March 2, 2006

Italian physicians in Rome say they've used stem cells to rebuild human skin and repair tissue damage -- the first time such a feat has been accomplished.

A Rome University team led by Nicolo Scuderi took stem cells from 13 patients, grew them in a laboratory and recreated the patients' dermis and epidermis.

The reconstituted tissue was grafted onto the backs of seven children to repair skin damage caused during removal of widespread and potentially cancerous birthmarks. In the other six cases, the new skin was used to cover scars, wounds and a tumor, Scuderi reported.

"Adult stem cells have been used in plastic surgery for 20 years, but no one has ever described their clinical use before," Scuderi told ANSA.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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