Artificial Skin, by Katie Geldhart and Timothy Ma
Artificial skin is the term used to describe any kind of material designed and used to replace naturally growing skin. The primary application of such materials right now revolves around treating individuals that have suffered severe tissue loss from disease or trauma (e.g. skin cancer, burns). Alternatively, artificial skin is now being used in some places to treat patients that suffer from foot ulcers . Labs have also developed in vitro skin samples to be used for cosmetic and medical testing. This provides a cheaper and more ethical approach for testing surface reactions to topical treatments .
The most important goals of current artificial skin technologies are to provide protection from infection, dehydration, and protein loss after severe tissue damage. Each year, over 2 million people in the United States are treated for burns . Artificial skin is employed to seal a wound quickly to minimize the amount of fluid lost by the patient and to limit bacterial intrusion. Integra is a brand of artificial skin commonly used in medical facilities today.