Newsletter No. 21

CUHK Newsletter 中 — 大 — 通 I 訊 Vol. 2.8 No. 21 August 1991 University News Majo r B eakthroug h i nthe Treatmen t o fBurn s Human epidermal cells successfully cultured Microscopic appearance of successfully grafted cultured human epidermis Cultured human epidermis at seven weeks after grafting 一 seen at centre of picture surrounded by traditional skin grafts After three years o f intensive research, the University's Department of Surgery succeeded i n culturing human epidermis o f good quality i n sufficient quantity fo r use i n th e treatment of severe scalds and bums. Skin destruction resulting from scalds and bums can be fatal because it can lead to serious infections and the loss o f body fluids. When the burned area i s small, doctors normally cover i t with skin harvested from other parts o f th e patient's body. Bu t i f th e burned area i s extensive, i t ha s t o be covered temporarily by skin from a cadaver, an option not yet available in Hong Kong because of the lack of donors. The Department o f Surgery ha s therefore actively engaged itself i n research o n cultured human epidermis as a skin substitute. A fe w months ago, a patient with burns over 4 5 pe r cent o f the body surface area was treated in the Prince of Wales Hospital. T o stabilize his condition, doctors used fresh pig skin t o temporarily cover the wound. In the meantime, cultures of epidermal cells were propagated from small pieces o f 'partial-thickness' skin harvested from th e patient's body. In about four weeks' time, such sheets o f human epidermal cells expanded more than 200 times i n size and were then transplanted back to the patient, together w th autogenous skin grafts, to cover the wounds permanently. That was the first time the technique had been successfully applied i n Hong Kong to treat patients with severe an d extensive bums. The Department o f Surgery will continue t o direct it s research efforts t o th e making o f durable human composite skin grafts consisting of cultured human epidermis and collagen dermis fo r temporary or permanent coverage o f burn wounds. Gift sfro mth eStoc kExchang e o fHon gKon g The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd. recently donated a set o f publications about th e stock market and other research materials t o the University. Such materials include the Rules of the Exchange, The Securities Journal, ' F a ct Book', ‘Monthly Market Statistics', 'Weekly Quotations', ‘Daily Quotations', and annual reports o f th e listed companies from 1980 to 1990. The University will continue t o receive ne w issues o f these publications regularly, some in the form of microfilms. Dr. P . N . Wu, th e University Librarian, represented th e University to receive th e gifts from Mr. Francis Yuen, chief executive of the Stock Exchange, in a ceremony held o n 23rd July 1991. These materials are now available a t th e Reference Department o f the University Library. 1