Over the years a lot of things have been 3D printed, a group saved a turtle using the first 3D printed shell, also Adidas made a 3D printed sneakers from ocean waste, others includes 3D printed Drones, hair, and even an autonomous 3D printed bus, now we can add one more item to the list – 3D human skin.
Biologists at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have built a prototype of a 3D bioprinter that can create a functional human skin. According to the creators, the output is good enough to be used in transplants, or in testing of cosmetics and chemicals.
Creating this is a tedious process, the skin comprises of the epidermis (the external layer which serves as protection against harsh environments) and the dermis (the internal layer that produces protein that gives the skin elasticity and mechanical strength, called Collagen).
According to Juan Francisco del Cañizo, who worked on the project, “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.”
The team used the ingredients from a stock of cells created at large scales. “We use only human cells and components to produce skin that is bioactive and can generate its own human collagen, thereby avoiding the use of the animal collagen that is found in other methods,” said the researchers.
To create skin for an individual their own cells are harvested so that the resulting skin is biocompatible and won’t be rejected. “This method of bioprinting allows skin to be generated in a standardized, automated way, and the process is less expensive than manual production,” said Alfredo Brisac from BioDan Group, a bioengineering firm that collaborated with the researchers. You can read the full details of the bioprinter as published in the journal Biofabrication.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to various processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object. In 3D printing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced from a 3D model or other electronic data source. A 3D printer is a type of industrial robot.
Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M) was established by an Act of the Spanish Parliament on 5 May 1989, within the framework of the University Reform Act of 1983. From the outset it was intended to be a relatively small, innovative, public university, providing teaching of the highest quality and focused primarily on research.