Can 3D printers be used to create human skin?

by Rebecca Barnes | 24 Jan 2017

A prototype for a printer that can create functional human skin using 3D printing technology has been unveiled by scientists from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

The new skin is one of the first living human organs created using bioprinting, and was developed in collaboration with the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón and BioDan Group.

Replicating the skin’s natural structure, the material would be good enough for transplanting to patients or for use in research and testing of cosmetic, chemical and pharmaceutical products, including where regulations require testing that does not involve animals.

According to scientists working on the project, the key to 3D bioprinting is bioinks – when creating skin, instead of cartridges and coloured inks, injectors with biological components are used. What’s critical is to know how to mix the components, in which conditions to work in order to protect the cells from deterioration and how to correctly deposit the product – which is controlled by a computer.

The process itself can be carried out in two ways: to produce large-scale allogeneic skin for industrial processes, and to create autologous skin, which is made from the patient’s own cells for use in treating severe burns.

The development is currently being approved by different European regulatory agencies to guarantee the skin that is produced is adequate for use on burn patients and other skin problems.

skin  beauty  human skin  science  scientists  medicine  technology  bioprinting  
A prototype for a printer that can create functional human skin using 3D printing technology has been unveiled by scientists from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. The new skin is one of the first living human organs created using bioprinting, and was developed in collaboration with the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón and BioDan Group. Replicating the skin’s natural structure, the material
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