Scientists in Singapore have created human skin in a lab. While this sounds kind of creepy, the purpose of this experiment is to find a way to replace cosmetic testing on animals.
According to Reuters, the skin is made up of donated skin cells and collagen, making it contain the same properties as human skin.
“We can see that the industry is moving towards animal-free testing. So that’s why we hope this in-vitro human skin model will be a solution towards not just personal care testing, personal care product testing, but also for nutriceuticals and pharmaceutical products,” Denova Sciences lab manager John Koh told Reuters.
The team printed the human skin by putting precisely-patterned layers that mimic human skin. Each piece takes less than a minute to make and then incubated for two weeks.
According to Al Jazeera, the skin cells multiply and gain opacity, turning into a whitish membrane. This can then be used to test for toxicity or irritation of substances as well as penetrative qualities of ingredients in make-up.
The lab has already partnered with commercial cosmetic testing companies and have filed a patent for their method of skin-printing.
The next step for the team is developing Asian pigment cells to test the effects of whitening cosmetics and skincare products.