3D-printed skin is the new animal testing, hopefully
L'Oreal has partnered with bioprinting startup Organovo to develop living, 3D printed skin to test skin care products.
To avoid animal testing, L'Oreal has been using artificially produced human skin since the 1980s. Their lab in Lyon, France employs 60 scientists to grow over 100,000 skin samples per year, which amounts to 54 square feet of skin.
As of now, L'Oreal grows their skin samples from tissues donated by plastic surgery patients. They are hoping to automate and speed up the process by partnering with Organovo, who is already collaborating with other companies to print liver and kidney tissues.
Once they develop the 3D printed skin, L'Oreal will have exclusive rights to use the tissue sampels for nonprescription skin care products. Organovo will have the rights for uses related to testing prescription drugs and toxicity tests.