French cosmetics firm L'Oreal is teaming up with bio-engineering start-up Organovo to 3D-print human skin as part of its ongoing effort to eschew animal testing of its products.
In a press release, Organovo says the two companies are partnering to “develop 3D-printed skin tissue for product evaluation and other areas of advanced research.”
Bloomberg explains: "Using the current method, skin samples are grown from tissues donated by plastic surgery patients in France and are then cut into thin slices and broken down into cells. Those cells are placed in trays, fed a special, proprietary diet, and exposed to biological signals that mimic those of actual skin." L'Oreal wants to start testing its products on bioprinted "living, breathing derma," says Bloomberg.
Here’s avideo from Organovo explaining how the bioprinting process works:
"Organovo has broken new ground with 3D bioprinting, an area that complements L'Oreal's pioneering work in the research and application of reconstructed skin for the past 30 years" says Guive Balooch, global vice president of L'Oreal's Technology Incubator.
"Our partnership 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."
L'Oreal has, in fact, been growing skin since the 1980s. According to ‘Engadget’, a team of 60 L’Oreal researchers currently produces as much as 100,000 samples of artificial skin each year, which it sources from skin that has been donated after plastic surgery procedures.
Organovo has previously partnered with biopharmaceutical companies and academic medical centers, but this is its first foray into the beauty industry. The company is currently working with pharmaceutical giant Merck to print liver and kidney tissues, ‘Bloomberg’ reports.
..... Devashree Goenka