Acid attack victims in Pakistan are expected to have a new lease of life as a Pakistani doctor is working on developing artificial skin for such persons, BBC Urdu has reported.
According to the report, Dr Rauf Ahmed, who works at the burn centre of Jinnah Hospital, has created a sample of biological artificial skin. This type of artificial skin, as compared with synthetic or chemical, is close to natural skin.
The downside of synthetic skin is that it has difficulty merging with the human cells, while it is also not durable and could be retained if damaged. On the other hand, the biological skin feels almost like real or human skin. Artificial skin could be prepared from removed human skin or that of cow or buffalo.
The first layer of the skin is first removed with the help of different chemicals, which is aimed at removing viruses as well as ruling out resistance to the artificial skin.
Secondly, the the artificial skin is sterilised, to keep it free from any kind of germs. All of these stages are performed with the help of different kinds of machines.
Dr Ahmed added that he has established a system of coordination between laboratories in the country researching on genetic diseases. This allows him to use the machines available in these laboratories.
Dr Ahmed told BBC that the artificial skin has been approved from the US food and drug administration, and that he has initially it successfully on 18 patients.
In the next stage, he added, it will be used first on animals, and then on humans on large scale. Afterwards it will be available for anyone to buy.
The expert said that it is indeed difficult to get the artificial skin ready for selling, as larger companies create hurdles to avoid their own businesses from being affected.
He urged the government to take measures to enable production of the affordable artificial skin. This way, lives of many destitute victims could be saved, he added.