A team of Spanish scientists has synthesised a human skin replacement material with 3D printing that can be used for tissue grafts and other applications.
Dubbed a "bioprinter," the special 3D-printed ink consists of human cells and other biomaterials. The resulting structure consists of both epidermis and dermis layers and can also generate collagen, a principal protein in human skin.
Since the material essentially becomes a living human tissue, it could be used for grafts and cosmetic, chemical, and pharmaceutical product tests. Skin printed for human transplants today comes from a patient's own skin or from animal skins, which can pose supply problems when large volumes are required.
The 3D-printed skin replacement can also remove the need for tests involving animals to test skin reactions to different chemical compounds for commercial applications, which has raised ethical concerns.