Scientists can now print out functional human skin ready for transplant using 3D printer technology.
A team of biologists at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research and Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón has created a method to print healthy and usable skin using 3D printer technology.
This lab-made skin tissue can be used both on people in need of skin transplants, as well as in industrial research, like chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical testing
This technique might even bring an end to animal testing, which affects millions of animals annual in the name of science.
It will mainly revolutionize treatment of burn victims who suffer from severe damage to their skin, since the printed tissue closely resembles real human skin, complete with an external epidermis-like layer for protection, a thicker layer of dermis and a layer made up of fibroblast cells that produce collagen, the protein that gives skin its elastic and mechanical characteristics.
The printed skin however, needs to be created from a patient’s very own skin so their body doesn’t reject it. But when it comes to uses like chemical testing, stock samples can be used to mass-produce skin tissue.
The complete study can be found in the journal Biofabrication.