L'Oreal to Begin 3D-Printing Skin

It's a faster way of growing skin for product testing.

When you think of L'Oreal, you probably think "cosmetics" not "3D-printed skin." But the French beauty firm has partnered with San Diego-based bio-engineering company Organovo to print human skin.

In a press release, Organovo says the two companies are partnering to "develop 3D-printed skin tissue for product evaluation and other areas of advanced research."

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Since the 1980s, L'Oreal has been in the field of tissue engineering, growing skin in laboratory cultures using donated skin cells. The process for growing a .5 centimeter test square takes about a week.

But Organovo's method goes much faster. It uses their proprietary NovoGen Bioprinting Platform, which works like an inkjet printer to lay down human skin cells in a hydrogel matrix that keeps them alive.

Why the need? Cosmetics need to be tested and testing them on human skin is much more accurate and ethical than testing them on animals. L'Oreal says on its website that it stopped testing cosmetics on animals back in 1989.

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However, China requires testing on animals for all cosmetics imported into their country and L'Oreal is no exception. It's possible that better, more accurate tests that come from this new collaboration could put an end to animal testing once and for all.

via BBC

Organovo has producd a bio-printer that can produce a 3-D tissue samples.

Ink seems so retro now that machines can custom-print myriad 3-D objects, including snacks. Here are some of the most impressive edibles to emerge from 3-D printers so far.

Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab

is at the forefront of 3-D printed food. The lab’s Fab@Home project led by PhD candidate Jeffrey Ian Lipton uses solid freeform fabrication to print interesting snacks. Lab researchers worked with the French Culinary Institute to print this space shuttle from cheese.

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Printing with chocolate is a no-brainer given its consistency but what used to be a novelty has started going mainstream. Chocolate companies are using 3-D printing tech in new ways, like this


printed for Nestlé and Android KitKat’s



Using food like ink can be much trickier than generating a mold from 3-D tech. Several years ago

Windell Oskay

and his team at

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

custom-built a 3-D fabricator that fused sugar together into sculptures. More recently 3D Systems released the ChefJet printer to produce confections and cake-toppers.

One day the pizza question could be, Fresh, frozen or printed? The Barcelona-based startup Natural Machines printed fresh pizzas using a 3-D machine prototype called Foodini in 2013. At the same time, NASA gave a grant to the Systems and Materials Research Corporation in Austin to develop pizza-printing capabilities for space.

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The crew at Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab did print thick cookies containing the letter C but German designer

Ralf Holleis

produced fewer crumbs. He collaborated with a professor at the University of Applied Sciences Coburg to print

holiday cookies

from red and green colored dough.

Printed meat doesn’t sound all that appetizing but that hasn’t stopped anyone from trying. The startup

Modern Meadow

is working on developing humane, bioprinted meat while

Natural Machines

used their Foodini to create real swirled hamburgers -- as well as the buns and cheese to go on top.

These chips might look like ramen noodles but researchers at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab printed them from corn dough. The flower shape allowed for even frying, Fast Company reported. If you want pasta, Natural Machines says its Foodini printer can serve up gnocchi and ravioli.

The Dutch consultancy T

NO Research

envisions using 3-D printing to address world hunger, although some might squirm at their proposals. Their food printer can generate nutrient-rich snacks from alternative ingredients like algae and even mealworms.

If telling kids to eat broccoli because it’s “little trees” doesn’t work, perhaps Natural Machines’ 3-D printed

spinach quiche

will. To tempt picky young eaters, the Spanish startup produced vegetable snacks in the shape of butterflies and dinosaurs using their Foodini printer.