3D printing technologies will impact our global economy and revolutionize all sectors of industry. Now, collaborating Spanish scientists developed a 3D printer prototype capable of producing transplantable human skin.Scientists developed a 3D printer that can create functional human skin.Click To Tweet
3D Bioprinter Replicates Human Skin
A team of Spanish biologists from the Universidad Carlos III, the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research, and Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón developed a 3D bioprinter specifically for producing transplantable human skin.
Still in the prototype phase, the bioprinter synthesizes human skin layer by layer. It uses dermal and epidermal components from the patient’s existing cells or the cells of a compatible donor.
Bioprinters work by depositing droplets of “biological ink” containing human plasma, with fibroblasts and keratinocytes obtained from biopsies. Unlike the long manufacturing processes of conventional skin substitutes, the new method is fast, printing 100 cm2 of skin in less than 35 minutes.
After testing the printed models in vitro cultures and mice, researchers concluded that the lab-made bilayered skin was almost indistinguishable from human skin.
Exposing Skin to the Market
BioDan Group is a bio-engineering company planning on marketing the new bioprinter tech. The tissues produced will not only be available for transplant to burn victims; the skin could also remove the need for live animal subjects in cosmetic and pharmaceutical testing.
It seems simple, but better quality of life results in longer life expectancy. Longer life potentially leads to more damaged organs, therefore more demand for transplants.
Bioprinting could be the supply. Potentially, the organ donor wait list could disappear.
In addition to using a bioprinter to create transplantable organs, bio-engineering technologies like this open the door wide on human augmentation and the Human 2.0 era.
The groundwork for Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element” world, where Leeloo’s body is entirely reconstructed from a mangled forearm, has been laid.