Lifecell is a company that offers a suite of tissue regeneration technologies that have been used for more than 1 million successful implants and grafts in the last decade. Their flagship product, Alloderm, is an acellular dermal matrix that contains a framework of biochemical and structural components that allow for the regeneration and replacement of human skin.
Severe burns, skin grafts for your gums, and abdominal wall reconstruction are just a few of the countless applications for this amazing product. Interestingly, an investing site called wikinvest has one of the most readable descriptions of Lifecell’s technology for those of us who are not tissue experts. A new product from Lifecell, called Strattice, derived from pig skin will open the doors to new applications and cheaper implementation of tissue regeneration.
If you are still confused as to how it all works, here is a more in depth explanation: The human body is very good at recovering from damage such as small scrapes or small burns. However, when the damage is more severe the body cannot fully repair itself back to normal, resulting in loss of functionality, deformation, scarring, and other complications. In the case of these severe injuries or in the case of an abnormal need for skin (as in the case of gum disease) the body needs a helping hand to “show” it where and how it needs to grow. The matrix called Alloderm serves as this helping hand. It is inserted into the place where new skin is desired and your body will grow onto the matrix good as new!
Lifecell’s Alloderm product is a matrix of chemicals, proteins, and other vital components of the human skin that has been extracted from human donated skin, usually cadavers. This matrix is sterilized by Lifecell’s proprietary process and then preserved through a freeze-drying process until it is ready for use. Once implanted into a patient, AlloDerm is revascularized (blood flow restored) and repopulated (grafted) with the patient’s own cells.
Lifecell was recently acquired by KCI.