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How Advances in Bioprinting Are the Future of Skin Replacement

By Nikhil Mehta, 9:00 am on

Three-dimensional bioprinting researchers continually strive to improve upon the technique used to create living tissues in laboratory settings. Medical advances using this technology have included creating blood vessels, a bladder and more recently, a thyroid gland. The ability to create human skin using bioprinting has generated interest from many different sectors ranging from the cosmetic industry to dermatology practitioners. The following account may be of interest to medical practitioners and Palm Desert hourly home care providers.

Human skin bioprinting techniques have largely been performed by companies that specialize in health and beauty products. These corporations include the well-known conglomerates L’Oreal along with Proctor and Gamble. The interest in skin replacement technologies as they pertain to these industries involves having the ability to hasten the product testing process. With the ability to create human skin on demand provides beauty industries a comprehensive environment in which they can create and test products according to skin type without testing these products on lab animals.

The U.S. military also has a vested interest in skin replacement therapy and is working with the Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine in an effort to provide better treatment options for soldiers traumatically wounded during war. The devastating burn injuries suffered by American troops may leave little existing tissue for ordinary skin grafts. 

In general, bioprinting skin entails using devices that function similarly to ink-jet printers. However, the ink used for the printing process is typically made using a combination of living skin cells and collagen. The printer creates skin layer by layer by depositing the cell mixture onto a nourishing medium. The cells are then carefully farmed to grow and multiply. The military approach takes the process further by initially scanning a wound to determine volume and skin cell type. The bio-printer then adds specific types of cells to the wound in the form of a patch that is designed to grow, multiply and replace the cells lost due to injury. 

Though bioprinting seems relatively basic, many variables hinder success. Cells damaged during the printing process or climate alterations could severely harm the finished product. Fortunately, researchers are working to perfect this technology. In the meantime, those recovering from these and other injuries can turn to other resources to help expedite recovery. Palm Desert Home Care Assistance provides flexible live-in and hourly services to help seniors recover quickly and efficiently from injuries. Additionally, we help seniors manage illnesses while offering emotional support and companionship. Call a compassionate Care Manager at (760) 345-0001 today to learn more about our services and schedule a free in-home consultation.