While watching The Good Doctor (ABC), I recognized the story line about the use of tilapia fish scales as bandages for burn victims in an episode titled, “Not Fake” during season 1 episode 6 written by Simran Baidwan.
Doctors in Brazil were researching the use of tilapia fish scales on patients with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Sterile tilapia scales are placed on the patient and left on until the patient’s skin starts to scar naturally. Tilapia scales have proteins that are important for scarring, are strong and contain a lot of water. Doctors using tilapia skins as bandages found that the fish scales reduced the amount of healing time (by up to several days) and the patient’s use of pain medication.
The way that the writers of The Good Doctor used this current research was pretty straight forward but I can also think of a couple of different ways that this could be used in a story.
Two people get lost while hiking (in California, Texas or Asia where you can find tilapia in freshwater lakes and waterways). They have no phone reception and one of them accidentally burns her/his arm in the campfire. The other person uses the scales from the fresh-caught tilapia to bandage the burn until they can get help.
What about a villain who has disfiguring burns on her/his face and arms and uses tilapia fish scales to cover them giving her/his a half-man/half-fish appearance.
A person with ichthyophobia (fear of fish) comes face-to-face with their ultimate fear when their doctor suggests they wear fish scales. This one could have very dramatic or comedic opportunities.
Who wants to talk more about how you can use this idea in your current or next story?