Burn victims and other patients in need of a second skin must either receive transplants or serve as their own tissue donors, in the painful and dangerous process of skin grafting. But sometimes that's not sufficient; it would be better to have a viable, easily transplantable synthetic one instead. German researchers have apparently figured out how to make it in (relatively) large quantities.
At the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, a new skin factory
can produce 5,000 penny-sized discs of whitish translucent tissue every month. The designers say it can also come in shades of brown. Robots control the skin-growing process, monitoring the cell broth and carefully slicing swatches to prevent infection.
It's not being used to create skin grafts just yet, but the researchers involved say it will be a simple, streamlined way to make new tissue like skin, bladders and tracheas
For now, the skin is being used for cosmetics testing.