Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.



First Advisor

Prashanth Asuri


In South Africa and around the world, the rates of severe burns are a significant health issue. Skin grafts are used to improve the function and appearance of the burned area and reduce the amount of time a patient is in the hospital. To minimize the amount of skin needed and maximize the coverage of the graft, the harvested sample is meshed in a lattice pattern so it can expand and graft a much larger surface area. Unfortunately, the current methods and devices used in both high and low-income countries have been optimized for hospitals with larger budgets and more readily available resources.

In this project, we developed a frugal skin graft expansion device for low resource settings in developing countries. After identifying the needs of low-resource countries, we prototyped possible solutions and tested them, achieving both the meshing pattern and graft expansion. We then created further iterations of our design to more fully meet the needs of developing countries.

We believe our frugal device will fill a need in the current field of burn care devices in developing countries and significantly increase the number of burn patients successfully treated in low resource settings, allowing them to reintegrate into society and live healthy and productive lives.