Schlieren ZH - Cutiss AG has developed the world’s first machine for the production of artificial skin in collaboration with the CSEM research center. The personalized skin tissue grafts cultivated by the machine are set to revolutionize the treatment of severe skin injuries.

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Image credit: zVg/CSEM


Cutiss AG specializes in the development of personalized, permanent skin grafts. These are designed to help improve treatment of serious skin injuries, including burns. The company’s skin tissue treatment is known as denovoSkin and is already undergoing Phase IIb clinical trials in Switzerland and the EU. The denovoSkin process involves new skin being grown using the body’s own tissue as a template. It limits scarring and grows with the patients, meaning it is also well-suited for use in children too.

Cutiss has now developed an automated machine for the production of denovoSkin in collaboration with the CSEM research center, details of which can be found in a press release. According to the information provided, this is the first machine of its type in the world. It also allows several skin grafts to be cultivated at the same time, while it is expected to cut production times by more than 30 percent as well.

Up to now, the bio-engineering process for denovoSkin has been carried out manually. As such, it was lengthy in addition to requiring an expensive clean room and highly trained personnel. Using the denovoCast machine now means that manual interventions are a thing of the past, saving time while at the same time substantially reducing the risk of microbial contamination.

“When patients suffer from disastrous large and deep burns, the ability to quickly, affordably and consistently provide large quantities of skin grafts is essential”, the CSEM writes in the press release. The quicker that these wounds are closed, the greater the survival rate – in fact, drastically so. Overall, automating the production process for bio-engineered, personalized skin grafts is set to revolutionize the currently available treatment approaches for major skin injuries, the press release states further.

The automation program from Cutiss and development of the denovoCast machine were facilitated by grants from Innosuisse and the EU research initiative Horizon 2020. The automation program also comprises the development of two further machines upstream of denovoCast: a cell isolation device and a cell expansion device. These were developed and tested in conjunction with innovation service provider Zühlke and Japanese healthcare specialists Terumo.

Cutiss AG was founded as a spin-off from the University of Zurich and is based in Schlieren in the canton of Zurich. The company also operates a research unit based at Bio-Technopark Schlieren-Zürich.

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