Artificial skin with sweat glands have been develeoped by scientists.
The researchers, who tested it in mice, hope that, unlike conventional skin substitutes, the new skin will allow patients with large grafts to sweat to keep their bodies cool, reports New Scientist.
"This system promises to restore normal sweating activity," says Xiaobing Fu of the Burns Institute of the General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army in Beijing, China.
For the discovery, Fu and colleagues seeded beds of collagen with immature skin cells called keratinocytes. To this they added microspheres of gelatin whose surfaces were loaded with sweat-gland cells extracted from donated skin samples plus epidermal growth factor, which triggers cell growth. After two weeks, layers of skin containing gland-like islands had formed.
When this skin was grafted to wounds 3 millimetres square on the hindpaws of mice, healing was faster and more extensive than with conventional skin grafts, and the wounds had almost vanished after six weeks.
However, the boffins have not shown that the sweat glands actually produce sweat.
The development has been explained in Biomaterials.