Signals Blog

It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. Where, then, does the gun factor in?

I was amazed, last year, when I learned of the “biopen,” a medical device that draws stem cells to repair damaged or worn cartilage and then the cartilage heals itself with its own cells. From what I can find, it has yet to gain regulatory approval. However, the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) – the group behind the biopen – claims their device has the ability to effectively print human stem cells into damaged joints to regrow cartilage, and apparently this is a better product/solution.

Now there is also a biotechnology company, RenovaCare, that has developed and patented SkinGun™ that sprays “a liquid suspension of a patient’s stem cells… onto wounds” to “naturally and rapidly heal burns and other serious wounds.”

This product has had laboratory testing by Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), an interdisciplinary translational centre at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. In a press release, RenovaCare says that human skin stem cells sprayed with the device “maintained 97.3% viability. […] Cell growth was comparable to pipetting, the […] ‘gold-standard’ for the deposition of cells.”

Early versions of the skin gun were developed by Dr. Jörg Gerlach, now at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and StemCell Systems GmbH in Berlin, Germany.

The product is still in development and has not been accepted or cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is also not yet available for sale in the United States, where RenovaCare is located.

The global wound care market is expected to reach US$20.4 billion by 2021 as a result of an aging population, government funding for the development of wound care products and increasing incidence of diabetes and other chronic diseases.[1]

Watch how the SkinGun works.

This blog post is provided for general information only and nothing contained in the material constitutes a recommendation for the purchase or sale of any security. The author is not a shareholder of any public regenerative medicine company.

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.