L’Oreal, the renowned French cosmetic firm, is turning to 3D printing now to test out its products. The firm has partnered with Organovo, a bio-engineering startup, to 3D print human skin. This printed skin will be used in product testing. This will make the process affordable, quick, and easier. The design process will be easier as the reaction of the products will no longer be required to evaluate with real hair or bodies before the final phase of testing. Problems leading to failure of product development will be recognized earlier. L’Oreal has said that the opportunities of using the 3D printed skin will be “boundless.”
Foray into a Newer Technology
L’Oreal has been working on research in applying regenerated skin, a few times from plastic surgery patients to test their products. More than 100,000, 0.5 sq cm skin samples are produced every year. It develops nine varieties for all ethnicities and ages. However, with 3D printed skin, the company is making a foray into newer technology.
Its partner, Organovo, the research firm based in San Diego, has been developing 3D tissues using its NovoGen Bioprinting Platform, to replace damaged tissues on the human body. The firm has already made news with claims that it can develop a 3D printed human liver.
L’Oreal has issued a statement explaining the benefit of printing skin which states: “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.”
No time frame was given by the company as to when the samples would be available. It just said that it was in “early stage research”.
How will the Process Work?
Initially, a skin biopsy will be taken for the 3D bio printing process. From that, particular cells are separated and multiplied, as per the processes carried out by Organovo. A liquid which provides nutrients and oxygen is used to keep the cells alive, before the mixture is placed in a 3D printer cartridge. The printer then prints the skin, layer by layer.
With time, the process will be automated and the cosmetic firm will be able to produce ample amount of skin they require for testing and assessing the products in development. L’Oreal will share some of its cosmetic skill with Organovo scientists to make the process better.
VP of L’Oreal’s Tech incubator, Guive Balooch, said “potential for where this new field of technology and research can take us boundless.” Tech incubator is a unit that is opting for technology lead change at L’Oreal. Balooch talks about the unit that it “is driven by collaborations with emerging companies, entrepreneurs, and experts in a diverse array of fields.”
It remains to be seen if this 3D printed skin can actually help in the product testing process.
What do you think?
Do you think L’Oreal will benefit from 3D printing skin? Should more such innovations be made in 3D printing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Source – www.iamwire.com
Article Source – forbes.com