Eugene Bell, skin graft developer, dies

July 5, 2007 at 3:58 PM
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BOSTON, July 5 (UPI) -- Eugene Bell, who helped develop a way to grow human skin for grafting, has died in his Boston home at age 88.

Bell, who died June 22 of heart failure, experimented with skin cells to try to generate replacement tissue for burns and other injuries, The New York Times reported Wednesday. His tests led to the implantation of a patient's own skin cells under a collagen gel medium and grow "skin equivalents."

Because the tissue was developed from the patients' own cells, it didn't trigger an immune reaction and wasn't rejected.

Linda G. Griffith, a professor of biological engineering and mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Bell was a biologist, told the Times his research "provided a vision and stimulation to the field of tissue engineering" that benefited from "being used therapeutically," the Times said.

After retiring from MIT in 1986, Bell helped found two companies associated with skin and tissue repair and replacement.

Bell is survived by his wife, Millicent Lang; a son, Tony; a daughter, Meg Fofonoff; and four grandchildren.

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