Last month, scientists at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the BioDan Group presented a prototype 3D bioprinter that can create human skin suitable for transplantation to patients or for use in cosmetic, chemical or pharmaceutical testing.
One of the first living human organs to be created using bioprinting, the 3d-printed skin is created using bio-inks with living cells that are deposited onto a structure that replicates nature. The bio-ink contains the key elements of keratinocytes, fibroblasts and fibrin, which can recreate the structure of the skin.
"It is about finding a mechatronic way of depositing cells onto a structure similar to nature. With skin, we have been able to do it with something similar to a bio-printer. Moving forward, the new paradigm is the creation of a living organ," Alfredo Brisac, CEO of the Spanish bioengineering company BioDan, told Radio Sputnik.
He speculated that this advancement would come "not necessarily from bioprinting technology, but maybe using different mechatronic technologies to create new organs," Brisac explained.
The technology gives hope for burns victims, because it uses their own skin cells to produce skin for transplant that won't be rejected by the body.
"This is like a bespoke suit, it's from you to you. Therefore, if you give us a square centimeter of your skin, we can print up to two square meters of your living skin. We are doing that for the severe burns unit in Spain and we're starting to do it in other countries."
As well as helping burns victims, the printed skin is already being used for chemical testing.
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