Science Alert unravels the findings of a group at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux, who have spun skin cells into a “human textile” than can be used to stitch up surgical incisions or wounds like yarn:
“These human textiles offer a unique level of biocompatibility and represent a new generation of completely biological tissue-engineered products,” the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia.
[T]he researchers cut sheets of human skin cells into long strips – and then “wove” them into a yarn-like material that can be fabricated into a variety of shapes.
“We can sew pouches, create tubes, valves and perforated membranes,” lead researcher Nicholas L’Heureux told New Scientist.
“With the yarn, any textile approach is feasible: knitting, braiding, weaving, even crocheting.”
So far, the researchers have used the special yarn to stitch a rat’s wounds and help it fully heal over two weeks. They even created a skin graft, using a custom-made loom, to seal a sheep’s artery and stop it from leaking.
You can read more about the research here, in Acta Biomaterialia.