3D printers that can print human skin

Things seem to have changed dramatically in the cosmetics industry by L’Oreal USA, which announced the beginning of an innovative collaboration with the video printing 3D company, Organovo Holdings.

Through this cooperation the Organovo Holdings’ technology on 3D printed synthetic skin, will be put to test. The basic idea is that Organovo Holdings will provide the synthetic skin to L’Oreal USA that will use the skin for cosmetic testing.

And with from collaboration experts calculate that in 5 years from now, scientists will be able to create human skin using 3D printers. Surprised? Wait until you read the rest!

At the start of this cooperation between the two companies Guive Balooch (vice president L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator) mentioned: “We developed Technology Incubator to discover radical innovations to industries that have the potential to change the beauty industry. [...]”.

Human organs printing, has already made its appearance to the field of advanced technologies and the cosmetic company L’Oreal (LRLCF) shows us the way. L’Oreal recently worked with the American company Organovo (ONVO) that works on biotechnologies. The two of them, created 3D printed human tissue to use for tests on cosmetic products.

The French company that after that achievement constantly grows, now decided to take things a step further. The human tissue is now being put in labs, and with the use of dyes, scientists study the aging of the tissues. The first goal that L’Oreal hopes to achieve is to stop using cosmetics to animals for testing.

As simple as it may seem to some of you, the process mentioned above is extremely difficult and time consuming. 3D bio-printing will help achieve the goal with less effort and in less time. Instead of waiting for the human skin to be developed inside the lab, the cosmetic companies, will be able to take advantage of the models faster by printing them.

Skin is thin, something that makes it easy to be printed. The whole process is also much easier than growing skin in one’s lab. A syringe in the printer moves along the line of the tissue, compressing a cytosol very slowly. The layers are then put together until the wanted thickness is achieved.

What’s more exciting is that, in the syringe, the creation of different types of skins will also be possible, which provides the scientists the ability to runs cosmetic tests on many types of skin.

Arnold Bos, a technology advisor working for Lux Research added: “You can recreate a sensitive skin, or the skin of a man”.

Mr. Bos also stated that researchers have managed to make human skin but they are approximately five years away from making it available to the markets or the labs of cosmetic companies. This happens because scientists have yet to confront the challenge of living cells during the process of the 3D printing.

That could result to new products and income for companies such L’Oreal. That specific company spent 1 billion dollars for research and innovation in 2013. 


By: Lizzie Walters | General | Jul 15 2015
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