L'Oreal's using 3D printers to make artificial skin
When 3D printing first came on the scene, we were excited about the possibility of printing make-up.
But now L’Oreal Paris has taken the technology one step further, revealing plans to use it to print artificial skin.
Yep, you read that correctly. The brand has been printing human skin to use for product testing.
Partnering with Organovo, a company that creates “functional human tissues…for use in drug discovery and medical research,” the French beauty giant hopes to make skin testing a whole lot quicker and easier.
But how does it actually work?
Speaking to allure.com, L’Oreal tech incubator global vice president Guive Balooch explains it involves the use of “bio-ink… made out of human cells collected from tissue biopsies, donated cells, or stem cell sources.”
Then, it gets a tad complicated…
“The tissue is printed into a matrix, where co-printed gel holds the form or negative spaces needed in the printing process but is removed within 24 hours, leaving behind a 100 per cent cellular tissue," says Balooch.
Riiight. I’m no skin scientist, so the ins and outs are still a bit of a mystery. But the most important thing to take away from this is that the final product is as close to natural skin as you can get (without actually using the real thing).
"The final tissue is 100 per cent cellular with no scaffolds or synthetic structures to get as close as possible to the behaviour of the cells and tissues in their natural environment without foreign material.”
So. Cool. Albeit, a teeny bit gross.
This isn’t the first time the brand has revolutionised product testing, with the L’Oreal Make-Up Genius app letting us virtually try on products before we buy.
But skin printing? Wow. The wonders of technology, AMIRITE?
What do you think of L’Oreal’s skin printing? What other beauty technologies would you like to see invented?
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