The scar biobank programme

Burns, other traumatic injuries, surgery and cancer can all lead to a loss of tissue and associated problems, such as scarring, damage, disfigurement and deformity. Scarring is a significant clinical problem affecting millions of people every year but has no effective treatment or cure. There is potential to reduce the impact of scarring by developing novel materials, cell therapies and medicines. However, to understand how these should be developed, a better understanding of the role of molecules and proteins (biomarkers) in scarring is required. This will enable innovative approaches that could perhaps enhance the body’s own regenerative processes.

To help gain a better understanding of these processes, the plan is to build a unique collection of patient-consented, scarred skin and tissue, which could then be analysed. This will assist research in understanding the processes and therapies that lead to scar-free healing. It is anticipated that, in time, this resource will be expanded to build a scar biobank that will also support other groups in the scientific research community.