Scifi to SciFact #8: The Skin Gun1 min read

The Skin Gun was developed by Jörg C. Gerlach and colleagues at Stem Cell Systems GmbH in Berlin. After taking a sample of a second-degree burn victim’s uninjured skin and creating an aqueous stem cell solution, the gun is used to spray the solution directly to the wound site, where the cells will differentiate into normal skin. In test patients, damaged skin tissue was regenerated more quickly than on patients treated with traditional methods such as mesh skin grafting.

The gun bears strong resemblance to a device used in the 2004 sci-fi flick “I, Robot.” In this movie, Will Smith’s character Detective Spooner is revealed to have some robotic body parts from his left arm to about halfway down his left ribcage, a contrast to his anti-robot attitude that prevails in most of the movie. After one particular scuffle with what he believes are “evil” robots, the skin on his left foreman appears damaged and his robotic parts are exposed. Detective Spooner then grabs what looks like an aerosol can and proceeds to spray the solution directly onto his wounds, healing them almost instantly.


“I, Robot” is set in the year 2035. The Skin Gun is still in its experimental stage and may be limited to second-degree surface burns, however, the healing technique possible with this device may also be applied to engineering reconstruction of vital organs, such as the heart and kidneys, in the future.

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One Comment

  1. AvatarSusan May Oke Reply

    Peter F Hamilton had a similar solution to skin lesions: a spray on dermo-seal that dried to a blue colour and could be peeled off when the injury was healed. This first appeared in ‘Mindstar Rising’, written in 1993.

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