Scientists have found a way to print human skin in a medical breakthrough that could spell the end of animal testing.
The Spain-based researchers created a prototype 3D bioprinter that they say could help burns victims by creating skin for use in transplants.
And the 3D-printed skin can also be used to test chemicals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, The Independent reported.
The biologists, from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research and Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, said the multi-layered substance closely mimicked the elasticity and strength of human skin.
“Knowing how to mix the biological components, in what conditions to work with them so that the cells don’t deteriorate, and how to correctly deposit the product is critical to the system,” said researcher Juan Francisco del Cañizo.
Scientists will have to use a patient’s own cells for lab-made skin for use in transplants, but for industrial uses, such as chemical testing, it can be produced from a batch of cells.
“This method of bioprinting allows skin to be generated in a standardized, automated way, and the process is less expensive than manual production,” Alfredo Brisac, chief executive of BioDan Group, which hopes to commercialise the technology, told The Independent.
The researched was published in the journal called Biofabrication.