University of Calgary research team providing hope for burn survivors - 660 NEWS
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University of Calgary research team providing hope for burn survivors

Researchers are calling it a new and novel approach for burn patients that’s showing some promising results.

A team at the University of Calgary is isolating stem cells to help improve the healing over a wound.

Dr. Jeff Biernaskie tells 660News it’s their hope, this generates new dermal cells which are missing after a typical skin graft.

“And so our goal is to use these dermal stem cells from the same patient to transplant into the skin graft and regenerate the underlying dermis within these grafts,” he explains.

Biernaskie says they are still in the early stages of their investigation but so far the cells appear to be integrating well.

He’s hoping this treatment may also be valuable for those patients who have already had grafts by improving the overall appearance of the affected area.

A researcher with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, he teamed up with Dr. Vincent Gabriel of the Foothills Medical Centre’s burn unit, because both men were unsatisfied with the current treatments out there.

They’ve been working with the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society in surveying hundreds of survivors about life after a graft.

The team is in the early stages of it’s investigation, but Biernaskie says he’s hopeful they could be ready for human trials at the end of the three year grant cycle.

They are some of the first recipients of the Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS) Collaborative Research and Innovation Opportunities Project funding.