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How A Potentially 'Groundbreaking' COVID-19 Therapy Taps The Healing Power Of Your Skin

A colorful microscopic image shows tiny, yellow, pebble-shaped viruses clinging to a textured, blue and pink surface.
This scanning electron microscope image shows the virus that causes COVID-19 (yellow) emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.
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Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA say they've discovered what could be a "groundbreaking" new therapy to fight COVID-19 — one that leverages the remarkable healing power of human skin.

Scientists took the substance that allows skin cells to regenerate and put it into lung tissue, then exposed it to the virus that causes COVID-19.

That yielded some surprising results, according to Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim, the study's lead author.

"It targets both the virus's ability to hijack cells and replicate, but also protects cells from the damaging effect of the inflammatory response. So this was very encouraging to us," Ibrahim said.

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The technique could potentially help patients with long-haul COVID-19 as well, but Ibrahim cautions there's still work to be done. The study only looked at how cells responded to the virus in a petri dish.

Future studies are in the works that could eventually lead to human clinical trials.

The results are published in the June 2022 edition of the journal Biomaterials and Biosystems.

What questions do you have about the coronavirus and/or how it’s affecting your life in Southern California?