Inexpensive artificial skin trial gives hope to acid attack victims
Every year, there are hundreds of cases of acid attacks around the world. More so in countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Unfortunately, most victims of acid attacks are females who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds and are therefore, unable to bear the high costs of imported skin used for treatment.
In Pakistan, the cost of imported skin comes to at least $900 per square inch – an amount that the families of victims can hardly afford.
Now Jinnah Burn & Reconstructive Surgery Center, Pakistan, is developing a new, cost effective form of artificial skin that could revolutionize the lives of the hundreds of Pakistani women who fall victim to acid attacks each year.
Dr. Rauf Ahmed, an assistant professor at the center, says his breakthrough came from substituting trypizine — an enzyme used to cultivate artificial skin — with sodium chloride, better known as salt, which is a much cheaper and more widely available substance. He says this innovative technique will cost just $5 per square inch.
Ahmed’s artificial skin was initially tested on animals, which were monitored for six months. The first human trial began in October 2018 and is due to finish this summer.