Pacify Medical, a Nexus-trained start-up, has developed an innovative device that sprays skin on wounds to help reduce surgery time and accelerate healing.
A Nexus-trained start-up, Pacify Medical, has developed a patent-pending device that sprays skin on wounds to cover a large area for the purposes of grafting. Skin grafting is a surgical procedure for restoring the protective covering of skin due to burns, injury, or illness, involves removing skin from one area of the body and transplanting it to a different area. This device is important because it uses only a stamp-size portion of healthy skin, enabling wounds to heal faster. This can save time and money for both patients and hospitals by reducing surgery time and accelerating healing.
Saiprasad Poyarekar, project manager at Pacify Medical, explains that the device offers numerous advantages. “The skin spray device works with a single click, and its simplicity helps in the performance of skin transplantation surgery,” he says. It offers a very convenient solution when the donor area is limited, he adds. “In the case of limited availability of donor site for skin transplantation, the surgeon can graft a stamp-size skin graft and load the skin solution into the device,” which enables a much wider distribution of the small sample than current methods. “The device is more effective than the current gold standard of skin grafting methods,” says Poyarekar.
The project began as an attempt to help solve an unmet need in burn treatment in India. An engineer with deep curiosity, Poyarekar is a natural problem solver. “I have experience building products which solve problems. This time I thought of developing a possible solution for treating a large burn wound. This could solve the problem of limited healthy skin to cover the wound in case of an emergency, so the patient’s treatment process could be improved,” he says. While exploring the process of skin grafting, it became apparent that a major impediment is the issue of healthy donor tissue and the expansion that can be achieved to treat the impacted area. Going beyond the expansion ratios of currently available meshers was the key. “This is how the idea of a skin spray arose,” says Poyarekar.
Besides treating large surface burns, particularly those in the second-degree and above categories, the device can be used for defending against infection and other issues during the healing process for wounds.
The Nexus Start-up Hub at American Center New Delhi played an essential role in developing the project. “The role of Nexus was in helping with the commercialization of the device,” says Poyarekar, “including the construction of value proposition mapping for stakeholders, pitch practicing, financial knowledge development and business readiness for taking the innovation to the market.” Indeed, this transition continues to be an ongoing one. “The device is currently at the stage of clinical validation, and trials are underway at hospitals in India,” he says.
This process, which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, will soon be able to resume. “COVID’s impact on our work delayed development by delaying procurement of the components, and by delaying access to hospitals,” says Poyarekar. “During this process, the team learned to work in a virtual mode and to virtually access and participate in international conferences. This actually saved time and money on traveling, giving more time to focus on development work.”
Trevor L. Jockims teaches writing, literature and contemporary culture at New York University.