This article on the BBC News website explains how a team of researchers at Kings College London have been able to grow a layer of human skin in their laboratory.
Although skin has been grown in a lab before, this is the only example of such tissue which contains an epidermis – think skin’s protective outer layer. This makes it much more lifelike, and is a great step forward towards scientists being able to use such samples for testing in the future.
Lead researcher Dr Dusko Ilic states that the skin is “cheap, it is easy to scale up and it is reproducible”, and so could prove a viable alternative for animal testing of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. There’s also the possibility that it could be used to study the treatment of skin diseases such as eczema.
This new and exciting technology could prove to be revolutionary within the biomedical sciences, and will hopefully lead to even further development of such research.