A team of biologists has built a prototype 3D bioprinter that can create functional human skin, which could help bring an end to animal testing once and for all.
The researchers, from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research and Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, say their lab-made skin can be used in transplants for burns victims or for the testing of chemicals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
It closely replicates real human skin, featuring an epidermis-like external layer for protection, a thicker layer to act as the dermis and a layer made up of fibroblast cells that produce collagen, the protein that gives skin elasticity and mechanical strength.
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