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Skin Graft Using Fish Scales

So this topic in particular is quite important to me, as I have personal experience in this area. Long story short! As a teenage, I unfortunately experienced an accident that involved me having secondary burns on my legs. This lead to numerous operations, where I underwent a skin graft operation. Luckily for me the op was a success, and 8 years down the line it’s like it never happened!

Back to the article! I recently discovered information online that I found extremely interesting! New research has proven that Atlantic cod scales have the components containing anti-inflammatory fatty acids that is exactly what is needed for slow-healing wounds. Kerecis Omega3 Wound sheets are the by-products of cod that are caught for our food. What’s the saying? ‘Don’t play with your food’? Well turns out that’s EXACTLY what has helped to uncover this revolutionary method. Researchers in the US successfully healed 87% out of the 68 long-term chronic wounds in the space of 4 weeks. Impressive!

The procedure begins by the fish skin being processed, dried, packaged and then stored appropriately. The sheets are then cut accordingly, then placed into water for 30 seconds to rehydrate. This is followed by fitting the skin inside the injury, forming a type of scaffolding. Lastly, a protective layer or plaster is positioned over it, where our bodies then use the repair cells to populate and seal the wounds. Overtime, the fish skin graft eventually dissolves and is replaced with human tissue. The wound sheets ultimately remove living cells whilst at the same time preserving the structural ‘matrix’ and fat content.

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Before and after picture of the fish scale skin graft

Methods in the past have included using tissue from other animals such as pigs and cows, however the use of fish skin has proven most successful due to containing Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, unlike the other tissues, helping to reduce inflammatory and prevent infection. Not only is the scientific aspects of this proven to be successful, but financially the benefits seem to be additionally efficient, estimating to save money as at the moment, the UK spends £1 billion-£3 billion per year on treatment!

Personally, I am so impressed with this new alternative method, as well as the time and effort researchers have put into such an important medical subject! As a burns victim, I am extremely envious of this new method, however this new exciting discovery will make such a difference in the future!

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