Spray-on skin

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Spray-on skin is a patented skin culturing treatment for burn victims, developed by scientist Marie Stoner and plastic surgeon Dr Fiona Wood of Perth, Western Australia. Wood's treatment is under ongoing development. Where previous techniques of skin culturing required 21 days to produce enough cells to cover major burns, Wood's method requires five days. Through research, she found that scarring is greatly reduced if replacement skin could be provided within 10 days of the injury.[1]

Wood established a company called Avita Medical (formerly Clinical Cell Culture) in 1993 to commercialise the procedure. Her business came about after a schoolteacher arrived at Royal Perth Hospital in 1992 with petrol burns to 90% of his body. Wood turned to the emerging Australian-invented technology of cultured skin to save his life, working nights in a laboratory along with scientist Marie Stoner. The two women began to explore tissue engineering and moved from growing skin sheets to spraying skin cells. [2]

After the 2002 Bali bombings, Wood used the experimental technology on victims before it had been subjected to proper clinical trials, garnering criticism from other burn specialists. At the time there was little evidence of its efficacy, and Wood had an apparent conflict of interest since she founded the company that sold the technology.[3]

An initial clinical trial was planned at Queen Victoria Hospital, England.[4] FDA Approved US Trials commenced in 2006, but the trial attracted only small numbers of participants and was suspended by Avita.[5] A new study based on a modified study proposal commenced in 2010 with the assistance of a US$1.45 million grant from the US Army. [5][6] Participant rates for the new trial were again lower than expected.[6]

The technology is currently approved for use in Australia, Europe, Mexico, Canada and China. [5][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian of the Year recipient profile Archived October 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Spray on Skin
  3. ^ Carol Nader (January 29, 2005). "Jury still out over 'spray-on skin'". The Age. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  4. ^ "Spray-on cells treat severe burns". bbc.co.uk. 5 September 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  5. ^ a b c "FDA approves Avita Medical ReCell® Spray-On Skin clinical trial in USA". 8 December 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  6. ^ a b "Spray-on skin company Avita Medical faces investor revolt". smh.com.au. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  7. ^ "Spray-on skin speeds up healing burns". abc.net.au. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-30.