SKIN is a leading start-up South Australian biotech company that is focused on delivering a global paradigm shift in burns and wounds care. Through the development of innovative products, SKIN will remove the need for the skin graft forever.
At present, severe burns and wounds are currently treated with traditional bilayer skin grafts, where a piece of healthy skin the size of the burn or wound is taken from a donor site on the patient and grafted over the affected area.
SKIN has pioneered a process that will replace the need for the skin graft, by growing a patient’s own Composite Cultured Skin (CCS). The patient’s own cells are isolated from a small graft and cultured separately before being seeded and grown in a biodegradable matrix that produces bilayer skin ready for grafting over their burn wounds. Over 28 days, SKIN will be able to grow enough CCS (2.5sqm) to cover an entire adult.
This will have two major impacts:
- In patients with smaller deep burn injuries, conventional skin grafting results in the creation of donor sites. Donor sites are excruciatingly painful wounds, slow the patient’s mobilisation and therapy, prolong time in hospital and when they heal, create scars in areas that were previously not injured.
- In patients with extensive deep burns, donor sites are scarce. Multiple operations are required to harvest and re-harvest available skin grafts. To make the skin graft ‘go further’, skin is taken thinly and then meshed. Both of these manoeuvres result in poor cosmetic and functional outcomes for patients that require a good outcome. In addition, these patients spend months in hospital.
Over 28 days, SKIN will be able to grow enough Composite Cultured Skin (2.5sqm) to cover an entire adult.
Skin Tissue Engineering Pty Ltd (SKIN) was founded by Professor Dr John Greenwood AM and Julian Burton OAM. Prof Dr Greenwood and Julian Burton were brought together through the tragedy of the 2002 Bali Bombings, where 202 people lost their lives and many more suffered horrific injuries. Prof Dr Greenwood led the Royal Adelaide Hospital Burn Emergency Response Unit to the Royal Darwin Hospital, where he led the recovery and evacuation process for many of the bombing victims and their families, including Julian Burton who suffered life-threatening burn injuries.
Professor Dr John E Greenwood AM
- BSc(Hons), MBChB, MD, DHlthSc, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Plast), FRACS
- Director, Adult Burn Service, Royal Adelaide Hospital
- Director, Skin Engineering Laboratory, Hanson Institute
- Professor, Faculty of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide
- Director, Skin Tissue Engineering Pty Ltd
- Director, BetaCell Technologies Pty Ltd
- 2016 South Australian of the Year
- 2016 Hunterian Professor of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Professor Dr John Edward Greenwood AM is an English-trained plastic surgeon, working full-time in burn care as the Medical Director of the Adult Burn Centre of the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) in Adelaide, South Australia. This is currently the only American Burn Association/American College of Surgeons Verified Burn Centre outside North America. His other posts include Director of the Skin Engineering Laboratory (one of only two Australian laboratories licensed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for the commercial processing of cultured skin cellular products) and Professor within the Discipline of Surgery in the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide. His laboratory and clinical research programmes and general insights have been rewarded with over 120 publications, including eight book chapters and 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His establishment of the Adult Burn Service in South Australia was rewarded with the higher post-graduate degree of Doctor of Health Sciences from the University of Adelaide in 2013.
Professor Greenwood has been working on the development of skin replacement products utilising the NovoSorb biodegradable polyurethane platform since 2004, following a structured programme of studies, both in-vitro and in-vivo, completing three pilot human trials in 2012, 2013 and 2015. He has completed recruitment into a significant (20-50% TBSA full thickness) burn trial, using his Biodegradable Temporising Matrix (BTM). BTM is now used regularly at the RAH and has received 510(k) approval with the United States FDA for the reconstruction of surgical wounds. His Composite Cultured Skin (CCS) is nearing human trials with the recent completion of the construction of his bioreactor.
Julian Burton OAM
- Director, SKIN Tissue Engineering Pty Ltd
- Founder and Executive Chair, Julian Burton Burns Trust
- Director, Beta Cell Technologies Pty Ltd
- Director, Clevertar Pty Ltd
- 2010 South Australian of the Year
- 2008 EY Social Entrepreneur Of The Year
In 2002, Julian Burton suffered life threatening third degree burns to his body as a result of the Bali bombings terrorist attack. During his rehabilitation and recovery, Julian was inspired to give back to the people and communities who gave their time, skills and generosity in supporting not only himself, but many others less fortunate. So in 2003, Julian was driven to establish the Julian Burton Burns Trust. Today, the Burns Trust is Australia’s first national community organisation solely committed to the prevention, care and support associated with burn injury. Currently as Executive Chair, Julian provides leadership to the Board and Burns Trust team regarding the strategic direction of the organisation, with a specific focus on partner and government relations and capital raising.
In addition to the Burns Trust, Julian also serves as a director of two South-Australian based global biotechnology companies that he was instrumental in establishing – SKIN Tissue Engineering Pty Ltd and Beta Cell Technologies Pty Ltd.
Julian is also a Director of Clevertar Pty Ltd, which provides innovative digital health coaching solutions and technology designed to improve the health and wellbeing of patients by positively influencing their behaviour.