BY: DANIEL WATERBORNE
In 1969 Professor Ioannis Yannas found himself walking down a long and white hallway with the distinct smell of damp occlusive dressings and antibacterial ointment. The doctor in front of him stopped. In the room across the hall he heard the incremental sucking of a mechanical ventilation system, irregularly interrupted by the sound of wincing from the room directly on his right.
Dr. Burke turned to him and said,“Are you ready to see the first patient? Sixty three percent of her body surface area was affected by a tipped pot of kitchen oil. The nurse is changing her gauze right now.”
“Yes, I’m ready.”
Professor Ioannis Yannas has just been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame alongside Nikola Tesla, The Wright Brothers and Steve Jobs.
When he took a tour of a children’s burn ward in 1969, Yannas realized how little technological advancement had been made in treating burns. So he set out to solve the problem.
“These pictures in my mind, they stayed with me. They became the reason why I started working on this project. There is a great deal of human misery that was confronting me. And I felt I had to do something about it,” says Yannas.
Yannas and Burke set out to develop a bandage that would speed up the rate that wounds healed by scarring.
When he realized collagen was actually slowing the rate of scarring, he thought he had failed. But sometimes failure is just a matter of perspective.
He soon realized the collagen bandage Integra wasn’t producing scarring at all, it was actually regrowing skin.