"L’Oreal needs human skin. Lots of it. That’s why the French cosmetics giant earlier this month announced that it’s partnering with bioprinting startup Organovo to figure out how to 3D print living, breathing derma that can be used to test products for toxicity and efficacy."

"This isn’t L’Oreal’s first foray into skin production. Looking to avoid animal testing, the company started farming derma back in the 1980s. In Lyon, France, it runs lab facilities the size of three Olympic swimming pools, dedicated entirely to growing and analyzing human tissues."

"L’Oreal uses roughly half the skin it produces and sells the rest to pharmaceutical companies and rivals in the cosmetics industry. The company wouldn’t provide current prices but in 2011 told Bloomberg that samples cost $70.62 (U.S.) a pop. Nine skin varieties are available, covering a range of ages and ethnicities."

"With San Diego-based Organovo’s help, L’Oreal aims to speed up and automate skin production within the next five years."

"L’Oreal, which is more of a tech company than many people realize, spends about 3.7 per cent of its revenue – more than $1-billion annually – on research and development. That’s about twice the industry standard, says Bloomberg analyst Deborah Aitken. An army of about 3,800 L’Oreal scientists in about 50 countries work on creating beauty breakthroughs."

From +The Globe and Mailhttp://ow.ly/N7drZ 

L’Oreal’s plan to start 3D printing human skin
The French cosmetics giant earlier this month announced that it’s partnering with bioprinting startup Organovo to figure out how to 3D print living, breathing derma that can be used to test products

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  • I wonder when they will be able to 3D print complete new faces for people with permanent scars or burns?

  • +Guy Morissette Possibly one day, but for now this is just printing of skin for the purpose of product testing. Of course, this could be used in the future for burn victims, since you are essentially making the full skin, although it would require ways to avoid rejection (by using the person's DNA) and to get properly attached (so the skin gets proper blood irrigation to stay alive).

  • I hadn't thought about the blood irrigation thing. I guess they'll have to figure out a way to print the skin directly onto the person that needs it?

  • +Guy Morissette Skin grafts are already being done, now a question if they are sufficient for grafting full skin or if new techniques need to be developed. With 3D printed skin, you can essentially replace all the skin or certain layers. Another things that comes up is the sense of touch: Can the 3D printed skin have nerves, so have feeling (temperature, pressure, touch)? I don't doubt there will be research work in this field for years to come.