WHEN IT comes to growing skin cells, Miriam M. Brysk, PhD, appears to have a green thumb. Brysk, who is director of the Dermatology Research Laboratory at The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, and coworkers have developed techniques for growing and transplanting undifferentiated skin cells that may help heal the wounds of burn victims and patients with persistent skin ulcers.
The skin cell culturing and transplant techniques Brysk and colleagues developed may also provide a way to treat patients with disfiguring vitiligo, as well as providing cancer researchers with the first system for culturing human basal cell carcinoma.
A variety of culture methods have been developed for growing skin cells for autografts and allografts for treating stasis ulcers and burn wounds.
However, their use has been limited by a number of problems including severe shrinkage of the grafts and fragility of the epidermal sheets that makes transfer from culture