A research facility in Taiwan has now developed bionic Chinese skin printed with 3D printing technology.
(3D Printed Bionic Chinese Skin)
Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)... is the major government-funded institute for Taiwanese technology. ITRI recently presented its 3D printed bionic skin technology at the 2017 BioTaiwan Exhibition.
In 2013, the European Union banned animal testing of cosmetics, which got other countries, including Taiwan, considering the ethics of this practice and following suit. But rather than being content to allow for human testing, ITRI developed bionic Chinese skin tissue that could be used to safely test out recipes of new cosmetic materials. 3D printed Caucasian skin wouldn’t do, as its structure and texture differs greatly from Asian skin.
ITRI calls its new bionic epidermal tissue product EPiTRI, which could help cosmetic manufacturers work on material and formula development that stays in line with international regulations and testing guidelines like OECD431 and OECD439. EPiTRI, which has been through strict testing at a multinational laboratory, can be applied in cosmetics for in vitro safety checks. It was derived from Chinese skin cells, and has layers similar to real human skin tissue, including the stratum corneum, followed by a granulosum layer, a stratum spinousum layer, and a basal layer at the bottom.
According to Lai Fengwen, the deputy director of ITRI’s Laser and Additive Manufacturing Technology Center (LAMC), the high-quality EPiTRI bionic skin is 3D printed using active biological tissue while maintaining an ambient temperature of 4°C, in order to maintain biological cell activity and solve the many issues that can crop up while printing with viscous materials.
This bioprinter reminds me of what appears to be a similar device from the 1997 movie Starship Troopers, which is loosely based on the 1959 Robert Heinlein novel of the same name.