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Scientists can now 3D print functioning human skin, this according to new research published by a Madrid-based research team.
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed technology — effectively a prototype 3D bioprinter — that can stitch together fully-functioning living tissue.
According to the research, the skin is the first living organism to be created using a bioprinter.
“This skin can be transplanted to patients or used in business settings to test chemical products, cosmetics or pharmaceutical products in quantities and with timetables and prices that are compatible with these uses,” notes researcher José Luis Jorcano in a press release.
Jorcano also notes that a stock of cells can be used to produce skin for industrial purposes.
The bioprinted human skin will be intended for use on burn patients, testing for chemical products
The printed skin fully mimics the natural structure of human skin, with the outer-layer epidermis, inner layer dermis, and finally, the collagen-producing fibroblasts all present in the printed skin.
“We use only human cells and components to produce skin that is bioactive and can generate its own human collagen, thereby avoiding the use of the animal collagen that is found in other methods,” noted the researcher.
This developmental phase of the skin is currently undergoing approval by different EU regulatory agencies to ensure its feasibility in transplant applications for burn patients.
Feature image: UC3M