Skin taken from an aborted child has been used by Swiss doctors to create grafts for paediatric burns. In an article in The Lancet, researchers at University Hospital of Lausanne report that they obtained written informed consent from a woman who was to have an abortion on the following day, 14 weeks into her pregnancy. From a 4 square centimetre patch they developed a bank of foetal skin cells and used them to treat 8 children. They found that the wounds closed at just over 2 weeks and no traditional grafts were needed. "Foetal skin cells could have great potential in tissue engineering," says Professor Patrick Hohlfeld.
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