L’Oréal to 3D-print human skin for product tests

The French beauty care and makeup empire L’Oréal, the owner of dozens of premium and mass market brands, has been growing artificial human skin from tissues left after plastic surgeries from cells in its laboratories in Lyon since 1980-s.

Around 60 scientist produce about 100,000 different skin samples a year to test non-prescription skin products, avoiding testing on live animals. However, just a half goes on testing purposes, while the other half is usually sold to other pharmaceutical organizations.

Last month, the company entered an agreement with the California-based bio-engineering startup Organovo specializing in 3D-printing of bio materials, particularly, human tissues, to automate and speed up the skin samples production. L’Oréal will be the first beauty care company to partner with Organovo.

Their collaboration will start with an extensive research project carried out in both Organovo’s and Loreal’s laboratories and funded by the latter, as Bloomberg reports.

Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oreal’s tech lab comments: «We create an environment that’s as close as possible to being inside someone’s body.» He says that growing of all skin layers usually took about two weeks, while with 3D-printing technology can be considerably faster.