Scientists have made a skin-crawling breakthrough.
French researchers say they’ve grown ‘yarn’ from human skin that could be used to stitch people back up after suffering major wounds, according to a paper published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia.
The “human textile,” as it’s called, could one day replace standard synthetic stitches that can sometimes cause immune reactions that complicate the healing process, Science Alert reported.
The sci-fi threads — which can be woven like a handmade sweater — may also be used for skin grafts.
“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.”
Researchers cut sheets of human skin cells into long, yarn-like strips and have used them to successfully mend animals so far, the report said.
They stitched up a rat’s wound that healed within two weeks and created a skin graft with a custom-made loom to repair a sheep’s leaking artery.
“By combining this truly ‘bio’ material with a textile-based assembly,” the team wrote in their article abstract, “this original tissue engineering approach is highly versatile and can produce a variety of strong human textiles that can be readily integrated in the body.”