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Skin Printer

Bioprinting components of new skin directly onto a wound as a route to tissue healing and regeneration

29 January 2023

Skin Printer

A paper cut might heal in a few days, but larger wounds need a helping hand. Skin is a complex organ, and even our body’s natural scar tissue often fails to match the form and function of the rest of the body. Researchers are working on approaches to engineering replacement skin that is personalised and functional. A new study describes a bioprinting robot that might directly print the components of new skin onto a wound. The device makes a 3D scan of the wound and has multiple degrees of freedom to enable it to cover the area with a mixture of precursor cells from newborn mice and a supportive matrix gel that encourages growth. Tests on mouse wounds showed complete healing and functional skin tissue regeneration that closely resembled native skin (pictured, with stratified layers of cells), with key structures such as glands and hair follicles.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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