SkinPrint: 3D Bio-printed human skin can help burn victims (VIDEO)

SkinPrint, a concept developed by four students from Leiden University in the Netherlands, won the Digital Award of the Philips Innovation Award
The need for human skin is urgent and ever growing. Patients with burn wounds and skin diseases suffer intensely, due to the removal of skin from a donor site. Many patients cannot be accurately treated with current therapies, since the amount and quality of human skin produced by current techniques is insufficient. Therefore, improvement of human skin production is desperately needed.

SkinPrint will solve this major issue by the production of human skin with a 3D Bioprinter. SkinPrint will combine the 3D Bioprinter with the advanced technology of induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPS) which enables the creation of stem cells from specialized cells, such as hair or skin cells. These cells are then used as the ink for the bioprinter. The printed cells will eventually form all the layers of the skin. With the use of iPS personalized medicine is achieved: the patient is treated with own cells. The treatment of patients can be hugely increased by printing the personalized skin.

The incorporation of iPS technology with the 3D Bioprinter will speed up the skin production process, together with improved quality of the skin. SkinPrint aims to improve treatment for patients by producing the Skin of the Future.

In summary:

  • Urgent need for transplantable human skin
  • SkinPrint: Bioprint personalized human skin
  • Suitable treatment for burn wound patients

In order to print human skin the team must obtain a Certification mark from the European Medicines Agency. Therefore the team needs to prove that this method is safe. In order to realize that, they work with the Swiss Professor Ernst Reichmann, an expert in the field of skin. With his help, the team thinks hospitals should be able to make 3D printed human skin within five years.

Philips Innovation Award is the largest student entrepreneurs award in the Netherlands

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