KLAUS GULDBRANDSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KLAUS GULDBRANDSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Skin culture. Artificially-grown human skin being removed from a culture dish in order to make a skin graft. The cultures are made by transferring fragments of replicating skin (epithelial) cells onto fibrin gel. The gel contains the nutrients needed by the cells to multiply and form a skin; it takes only three weeks to grow a whole square metre of cultured skin. The artificially-grown skin may then be grafted onto parts of the body where the epithelial cells have been destroyed. This technique is used to help restore skin to burns victims whose injuries are so extensive that there is little healthy skin left from which to make a skin graft.
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