L'Oreal's 3D Skin Research Could Benefit Cosmetics And Healthcare Industries
Animal lovers everywhere will be pleased with the news that French cosmetics company L'Oreal is developing 3D printed skin technology that could be used in the testing of its products - and of course it has some non-cosmetic applications, too.
As Net Imperative reports, bio printing startup Organovo has been developing skin samples for some time now, producing over 100,000 a year and working with pharmaceutical company Merck to print kidneys and live tissues.
However, until now the samples have been made using donated tissue from plastic surgery operations in France, which is sliced thinly and made into cells. Over the next five years, L'Oreal wants to speed up this process by automating skin production and 3D printing active, breathing derma capable of testing for toxicity in the same way as human - or animal - skin.
This is the first time that 3D skin printing technology has crossed over into the cosmetic arena. As Guive Balooch - global VP of L'Oreal's tech incubator - explains, L'Oreal is the first beauty company that Organovo has worked with.
The beauty giant will provide initial funding as well as their own skin knowledge for the research, which will take place at Organovo's labs and L'Oreal's new research center in California.
Commenting on the partnership, Organovo expressed in a statement that it "will not only bring about new advanced in vitro methods for evaluating product safety and performance, but the potential for where this new field of technology and research can take us is boundless."
The project is still said to be in the "early stage of research," but medical experts are already hopeful about its applications for the healthcare sector, as it could be used to generate supplies of spare skin for victims of burn accidents.