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The skin is the largest organ of the body and many researchers show interest on this particular organ as it serves as the body’s first line of defense against pathogens. The skin is made up of tissues that have a semi-permeable capacity. This means that it only allows certain substances in and keeps others out. The skin is considered as the most durable organ of the body that can withstand different types of elements. Cosmetic company L’ Oreal has teamed up with 3D printing company Organovo to create the first ever 3D printed skin. The company teamed up such that each will contribute something to the technology. For instance, Organovo will provide the bioprinter while L’ Oreal will provide the skin cell technology. However, the latter will have exclusive rights to the 3D printed skin tissues which the company will use to develop, test, manufacture as well as evaluate the efficacy of their skin care products. The creation of the 3D printed skin tissue will create a huge impact on the skin care industry. Conventionally, skin care companies test the efficacy as well as toxicity of their products on human or animal skin. This puts the health of the clinical subjects at risk especially for products that have never been tested before for toxicity. Aside from using the 3D printed skin to test skin care products, this technology has the potential to be used in skin-related surgical tests and studies. It is interesting to take note that 3D printing has gone a very long way since it was used in developing medical innovations. Hopefully, researchers will be able to develop more 3D bioprinted organs aside from skin.
Blogger SSchoppert recently posted a blog article about 3D printed livers manufactured by Organovo. First of all, I would like to disclose that last year I purchased some Organovo stock (ONVO) since I thought the idea of 3D printed organs was pretty cool and *might* work out sometime in the far distant future. As someone who routinely treats patients with liver cancer and liver failure I recognize the need for livers beyond those available by donation. I was shocked to see a product on the market so soon. These livers are not full-size organs ready for transplant, but even creation of a small liver with microscopic support matrix is a big step forward and one closer to the the dream of fully transplantable organs. Read my blog article about the difficulties in creating a real liver with 3D printing. What are you thoughts on this?