3D Printed Skin

3d printer

With 3D printing the future is limitless. Right now 3D printing allows you to print anything made of plastic or resin. This technology has already lead to the creation of functioning plastic bikes and guns. And that isn’t even the surface of 3D printing’s capabilities. The food industry is releasing 3D printed food; now skin care companies are developing 3D printed skin.

How to Make 3D Printed Skin

According to CNN, within five years we could have the capabilities to print human skin. So companies like L’Oreal are trying out bioprinting, which is using living cells to make human skin. L’Oreal teamed up with a biotech company called Organovo to start developing skin tissue through 3D printing. The companies have grown the tissues in a lab as to not use cosmetics on animals. 

But Why?

Skin can be grown in laboratories, which L’Oreal has been doing for years, but the process takes a while. 3D bioprinting would speed up the process. It turns out that since skin is thin, and layered, it would be easier organ to print. Scientists attach a syringe to the printer and the tissue gathers there. It would also allow to create different skin types, such as sensitive skin. Beyond cosmetics, 3D printing skin could be a great way to treat burn victims. 

So there can now be testing done on skin without animals or humans being involved. This is good especially when testing with dangerous materials. The test trials have been successful, but this skin for commercial use is probably a long way off. This delay is mostly due to the fact that living tissue sometimes can survive during the printing process.