Cellular programming turns open wounds into healthy skin

At the Salk Institute for Biological Research (USA), a group of scientists successfully conducted an experiment to replace the functions of skin cells, forcing them to act differently than is prescribed by evolution. They managed to reprogram cells and grow healthy skin where it no longer existed and could no longer exist without surgery. We are talking about deep ulcers, burns and bedsores, when different layers of the skin are affected to a great depth.

When the skin is damaged, nature forces the surviving cells to perform two functions: to close the gap and to minimize inflammation. The cells try very hard, they do not save material - because of this, excess tissue protrudes outward and scars form. The cells themselves are in no hurry to regenerate, but this is exactly what American scientists forced them to do.

They focused on basal keratinocytes, the analogue of stem cells from which all other skin cells grow. By studying proteins and RNA molecules, scientists have deduced the key features of keratinocytes, and then inserted them into other skin cells, thereby reprogramming them. And they began to generate healthy skin, replacing the dead skin in the ulcers on the body of the experimental mice. What is characteristic, the process went evenly and after 18 days there were no visible traces of the old wounds - the new skin completely grew from the old around the wounds.

Tests over three months have confirmed that the new skin is the healthy skin of this particular organism. It can be grown directly on the wound, or in the laboratory by taking cell samples. This process has already been dubbed controlled or imposed skin regeneration, and technology promises an impressive future - imagine a world in which it will be possible to heal any of the worst burns? Not to mention combat types of regeneration, prospects for use in cosmetology and many other areas.