L'Oreal partners with bioprinting firm to 3D print human skin

L'Oreal is partnering with 3D bioprinting company, Organovo to take their current skin farming to the next level. L'Oreal currently grows its own skin for testing beauty products and formulations. It is a necessary step before releasing products to market, so L'Oreal can see just how safe and effective its formulas are. Organovo is an industrial bioprinting company that 3D-printed artificial veins from living tissue in 2010.

Prior to this, L'Oreal's enormous French lab grew living skin samples from donated tissue. The donated skin cells were placed in trays and coaxed using biological signals to take the forms of different types of skin. According to Guive Balooch, who is the global vice president of L'Oreal's technology development, the samples took a week to develop, "because the skin has different layers, and you have to grow them in succession." The lab was capable of creating about 54 square feet of skin a year, which is about as much as a large cowhide. The skin was grown in 0.5 square centimeter samples, ranging up to one millimeter thick.

L'Oreal is in the beauty business, but it's also a research driven company. It spends more than $1 billion on research and development, employing 3,800 scientists in 50 different countries to work on the latest and greatest in beauty technology.

You can take a look inside Organovo's bioprinting process in this video.

Through the partnership, L'Oreal will retain all of the rights to the 3D-printed skin to be used for non-prescription skin care testing, while Organovo will have exclusive rights to the skin samples for any medical testing.

Source: Bloomberg Business