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Bio-engineered skin Bioengineered skin
Dr. Anna Falabella, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Miami, holds up a a piece of a new “Bioengineered skin” commercially known as Apligraf, made from a mixture of living human cells and collagen derived from cows. Falabella grafted the skin onto eight week old Tori Cameron, who became the first person in the nation to benefit from the new skin Monday, 11 January 1999, at the Jackson Children’s Hospital in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) The lab–grown kin has no pigment or immune cells to cause the recipient to reject it. It eventually takes on the coloration of the skin around it. In return, doctors hope it will teach the surrounding skin how to bond.

Tired of deep cheek folds and howdy doody lines?
Collagen Corp announces new substance, Softform, for implants. The folds that run from the sides of the nostrils to the area beyond the corners of the mouth deepen with age as do the grooves that run from the corners of the mouth beyond the sides of the chin (dubbed marionette, or Howdy Doody lines). Sometimes these can be softened or eliminated if the surface of the skin can be plumped up with a filler material. The problem has been that all of the filler materials used so far have had disadvantages of some kind. Fat obtained from one part of the body (where it may not be needed) and injected at the desired location is excellent, but it may not last forever. Collagen may not have enough body. Artificial implants such as GoreTex have been used to good advantage but can sometimes be rejected (pushed out) by the body. A promising solution to what some perceive as a problem has been developed by the Collagen Corporation. They have developed a facial implant material called Softform. Made of fine spun polytetra flour ethylene, it comes with an implantation device which makes it easier for doctors to put the implant material where it will do the most good. The material is biologically inert and virtually insoluble (won’t dissolve). This is true of Gore Tex as well.

The reported advantage of the Softform material is that it is made in a tubular form. Because the implant has a hollow center, cells can grow into the center of the implant and anchor it more firmly. Rejection is then much less likely to occur. The implants can also be used to smooth or accent the margins of the lip. The implants are not used to give the lips a fuller appearance (we still favor fat for that).