Skip to main content

31-12-2009 | Dermatology | Article

Novel cell-harvesting device offers large scar treatment hope


Free abstract

MedWire News: A novel cell-harvesting system can give similar results to skin grafting but uses cells from much smaller areas, suggesting it could be used for large scars, Italian researchers say.

The ReCell (Avita Medical Limited, Cambridge, UK) device harvests cells to produce a suspension containing the autologous cells needed to produce healthy skin growth, explain Valeria Cervelli and colleagues from the University Tor Vergata in Rome.

“We obtained very good esthetic and functional outcomes,” they report.

“Texture, consistency, extensibility, and pliability were considered at least good in the majority of patients.”

The team tested the ReCell system on 30 patients with post-traumatic or iatrogenic scars admitted to their department over a 2-year period.

The single-use disposable device was used to harvest cells from the dermal–epidermal junction (DEJ) of an uninvolved area of skin with a similar texture to that of the scarred region.

The resulting noncultured autologous epidermal cell suspension was sprayed onto the areas of scarring, and patients were followed-up for 2 years.

All 30 patients completed the 1-year follow-up and half completed the full 2-year follow-up.

The plastic surgeon considered esthetic and functional outcomes excellent in 18 patients (60%), good in six (20%), fair in three (10%), and poor in another three (10%), and in each case the patients’ assessments were the same or better.

Using the Vancouver Scar scale, the pigmentation was evaluated as normal in 18 patients (60%), slight in nine (30%), and moderate in three (10%).

Reporting in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, the researchers call ReCell a feasible and simple technique.

They add: “It gives similar results to skin grafting but because it harvests from much smaller areas, can open possible future applications in the management of patients with large scars.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Anita Wilkinson