Scientists develop 3D printer capable of producing 'living' human skin

Publish Date
Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 11:33AM

Pretty soon if your skin becomes wrinkly or damaged you might just be able print yourself some new skin to patch up your body.

That's because Spanish scientists have developed a prototype 3D printer that is capable of producing 'functional' human skin.

The skin can be used for research purposes, testing cosmetics and other chemical-based products, and for transplanting onto human patients.

"(It) can be transplanted to patients or used in business settings to test chemical products, cosmetics or pharmaceutical products," said José Luis Jorcano, one of the researchers behind the project.

The bioprinter uses special 'ink' consisting of human cells and other biological components to reproduce the natural structure of the skin, including the external epidermis and the deeper dermis layer.

The skin is bioactive and capable of producing its own human collagen, the researchers claim.