Beauty, Meet Bioprinting

3D printing is on the rise – from Panasonic’s ‘Future Mirror’, which diagnoses skin problems and prints appropriate products, to do-it-at-home colour picker and make-up printer, Mink. But when it comes to its sister science, bioprinting, beauty brands are only just testing the waters. One brand, however, has been making waves – as well as making headlines.

As the world’s leading beauty company, L’Oreal are now pushing the boundaries even further by partnering with two bioprinting companies. Their work with Organovo allows deeper research into skin reconstruction, while a collaboration with Poietis hopes to tackle hair loss.

The technology for bioprinting was developed more for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, and is still in its infancy – so these are bold steps forward for beauty. The impressive tech works by layering a combination of microgel, a ‘living’ ink formed from protein- and vitamin-enriched gelatin, and bioink, a substance which contains the basic cells found in that particular organ or tissue.*

Further in the future, the opportunities for biotech to work in beauty applications are endless – from using it to print human skin for a more humane take on product testing, to reprinting skin, using your own cells, to combat signs of ageing.

IMAGE CREDIT: Christiaan Colen on Flickr.

*Note: You can find a full explanation, in layman’s terms, of this tech at How It Works.