Researchers at Spain's Carlos III University of Madrid unveiled a 3D bioprinter prototype that creates fully functional human skin. The skin is suitable not only for industrial uses such as testing chemical products, cosmetics, or pharmaceuticals but can also be transplanted to patients.
The bioprinter replicates the natural structure of skin, including both protective outer layers and the deeper layers that give the skin its natural elasticity and mechanical strength.
Various bioinks create the skin
The researchers explain that biological components act as the ink in this printer, with patented technology controlling how the inks are laid down on a print bed to create skin.
The technology can produce skin by two different processes. To create larger amounts for industrial uses, such as product and medical testing, the technology can draw from a stock of cells. However, for therapeutic use, such as treating severe burns, the technology relies on human cells and its components to produce bioactive skin that can generate its own human collagen.
The researchers continue their work, looking for new ways to apply their findings to create additional human tissues.