Bioengineered Skin Offers Hope

When wounds don’t heal, physicians at the NorthBay Center for Wound Care turn to the 21st century technology of bioengineered skin substitute. One living cell–based product, called Apligraf, has proven effective for healing even the most resistant skin ulcers.

“Sometimes wounds are present for months or even years, affecting a patient’s quality of life,” says Karen Harris, R.N., BSN, clinical manager of the wound center. “At a certain point, these chronic, non-healing wounds lose their ability to heal and need more advanced wound care therapy to promote skin growth and closure. That’s when we turn to Apligraf, and it can make a big difference in the healing process.”

This bilayered living cell therapy is approved for use on two common lower extremity ulcers: venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers.

Apligraf is made of actual living dermal skin, which is bioengineered from neonatal foreskin and contains the needed growth factors to help wounds heal.

When standard wound treatments, such as specialty wound dressings, compression therapy, and topical medications, are not enough to promote wound healing, Apligraf plays an active role in delivering living cells, proteins produced by the cells, and collagen, directly to the wound.

Apligraf is applied in the outpatient wound center. It’s painless and patients do not need to go into the hospital for treatment as with other types of skin graft procedures.

The NorthBay Center for Wound Care provides other advanced wound healing technologies, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, outpatient intravenous-IV therapy, and peripheral arterial disease screening.

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