Amniotic Membrane for the Treatment of Burns
The concept of using amniotic membrane for skin replacement is not new. The first documented use of fetal membranes during skin transplantation was performed in 1910. Three years later, Sabella and Stem applied amniotic membrane to burn patients. This initial use of amnion for burned skin demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of amniotic membrane, including: 1) increased re-epithelialization and healing as well as 2) decreased infection rates and pain. After decades of evolution in burn treatments, innumerable technologies have been developed, ranging from meshed autographs, AlloDerm, cultured skin, constructed biologic dermal matrix, and most recently, 3D laser printing. While these technologies are promising, they often pose significant therapeutic challenges, such as limited epithelialization, incomplete tissue incorporation, or excessive cost. These limitations present an opportunity to re-examine the potential therapeutic application of amniotic membrane in burn care.