A research team at the Ohio State University discovered that both rat skin and artificial human skin when treated with a generic skin cream exhibited the same responses on microscopic scales. This discovery could prove beneficial in treating burn victims.
Severe burning does not allow physicians to adopt skin cell regeneration with the patient’s skin because of a lack of healthy skin. In such instances, artificial or animal skin could offer a substitute. However, according to Bharat Bhushan, Ohio Eminent Scholar and the Howard D. Winbigler professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State University, says that animal skin is difficult to come by, not cost- effective and differs from animal to animal. The composition of artificial skin is on the other hand consistent.
Bhushan and Wei Tang, an engineer at China University of Mining and Technology, compared two artificial skin types to rat skin. The first artificial skin was a skin purchased from Smooth-On of Easton, Pennsylvania. The second was produced in Bhushan's lab. The rat skin came from Ohio State's University Lab Animal Resources.
Bhushan used nanotechnology to measure the level of skin responses. Skin cream absorption and drug delivery takes place at the nano-scale. An atomic force microscope was used to see the skin and the impacts of applied skin cream on a scale of 100nm. The skin cream softened the skin surface, helping it to absorb environmental moisture. The artificial and rat skins, before the treatment, displayed similar features such as roughness, and the distance from the lowest to highest points on the surface of the skin. The treatment reduced the distance from the low to high points in all skin types, proving that the skin cream softened the skin.
The research paper will be published in the June 5 issue of the Journal of Applied Polymer Science.