In-vitro skin that has the same chemical and biological properties as human skin was developed by DeNova Sciences, a Singaporean start-up in collaboration with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. The human skin can be used to test the toxicity or irritation potential of a substance, and the penetrative qualities of active ingredients in products like cosmetics. The human skin is expected to put an end to animal testing in the cosmetic industry.
“We can see that the industry is moving towards animal-free testing. So we really want to offer a solution to testing on the skin without using animal or human skin.” Lab manager at DeNova Sciences John Koh said. His team is now focusing on developing skin that includes Asian pigment cells to test the whitening effects of cosmetics and skincare products.
The human skin is made from skin cells from donors and collagen. According to Routers, as the team has accelerated the manufacturing process by using a printing machine to put in precisely patterned layers that mimic human skin, a piece of the skin about the size of the thumbnail can be printed in less than a minute. The mixture is then incubated for about two weeks, as the skin cells multiply and gain opacity, turning into a whitish membrane.