Cellular Fish Skin Grafts Essential in Wound Healing

Fish Skin Grafts especially has offered a solution to aid in faster healing of burn wounds and reduced scarring. Frontier science has led to the development and advancement of innovative ways to combat health problems that plague the population. Ideally, a good skin graft substitute should be readily available, cost-effective, have a low disease transmission risk, reduce infection and scarring, and aid wound healing.

Primarily, autographs are preferred by medical practitioners because they are harvested from the patient’s skin, which minimizes the risk of rejection. However, there are instances when the existing injury is extensive, as with large burns, making harvesting of enough skin from the donor site difficult. In such instances, alternative sources are considered such as allografts, a human donor, or xenografts, from animal skin.

Fish skin grafts (FSG) have recently become of interest as a xenograft with two main species being preferred, Nile Tilapia and North Atlantic cod. Because both originate from different areas of the world, FSG is an accessible option to most populations making it ideal.

Fish Skin Grafts
Illustration of Fish Skin Grafts use in wound healing… Courtesy of Agencie UFC

FSGs have become increasingly popular due to their impact on skin health. Omega-3 fatty acid content has anti-inflammatory properties and helps transition a wound from the inflammatory stage to the proliferation stage. Fish skin grafts are naturally biocompatible and do not provoke an immune response, reducing the risk of rejection and inflammation.

Moreover, the process of preparing FSG is also gentle enough to preserve these omega-3 fatty acids and the structure of the skin while still being treated enough to prevent disease transmission. Besides, depending on the method of FSG preparation, it is possible that the FSG can be stored at room temperature for up to three years, making it sustainable.

Fish Skin Grafts
The sixth day of Dressing and treatment….. courtesy of Research Gate

Clinical evidence indicates that fish skin grafts are highly effective in treating various types of wounds. A randomized controlled trial published in Wound Repair and Regeneration found that fish skin grafts significantly improved healing rates in chronic wounds, with patients experiencing higher wound closure percentages and reduced healing times compared to standard care.

Research published in ‘Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open’ demonstrated the effectiveness of fish skin grafts in managing diabetic foot ulcers, noting faster healing times and fewer complications for patients.

Currently, sustainable farming practices are encouraged the world over. Aquaculture and in particular, fish farming has gained much popularity in Kenya. As research, new and thriving fish farms must be sensitized and encouraged to diversify their fish species to reap maximum benefits, not just in the traditional food industry but also in emerging frontiers.

Fish skin grafts are a promising option for the treatment of chronic and acute wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers, burns, and venous leg ulcers. Clinical studies have shown that they offer benefits such as reduced inflammation, faster healing, and lower infection rates compared to traditional wound care methods.

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