Can a printer print out human skin? A team of researchers belonging to the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), CIEMAT (Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research), Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, in collaboration with the firm BioDan Group have designed a prototype for a 3D printer that would be able to print out human skin that can be used for cosmetic, chemical, or pharmacological purposes. To create the skin, the printers use injectors with biological components (bioinks) instead of colored inks and cartridges. A computer monitors the amount of bioinks to be used and how it is to be placed on a print bed to produce skin. The researchers state that there are two ways of producing the skin: (1) from a stock of cells to produce allogeneic skin at an industrial scale (2) create autologous skin made case by case from the patient's own cells for therapeutic use. According to Alfredo Brisac, CEO of BioDan Group, “This method of bioprinting allows skin to be generated in a standardized, automated way, and the process is less expensive than manual production.”
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