Although still in its premature stages, scientists have developed a way to essentially print skin. Inspired by everyday ink-jet printing technology, scientists have discovered a way to help burn victims and soldiers replace damaged skin. The first skin-substitution technique involves a portable printer that can scan an injury, extract cells from the victim and print replacement skin. Another technique uses a 3D printer which combines the victim’s cells with a special gel and other materials in order to create cartilage. The technology is capable of measuring the depth of damage via scanner which then informs the bio-printer as to how many cells/layers need to be created.
“Just imagine — if you could take cells from a donor, culture them, put them into an ink and recreate an implant that is alive and made of the original cells from the donor — how useful that would be in terms of avoiding rejection,” said Hod Lipson of Cornell University.
We are talking about skin regeneration via printer here, ladies and gentlemen. The skin-printing technology has already been used on animal test subjects prior to human testing (just like everything else) and has turned out with some good results for mice and pigs. Unfortunately, there are still several kinks that the scientists need to work out. One of the many difficulties they face will face will be finding a means to attach the fake skin to the individual. Furthermore, only cells that can withstand being printed are currently capable of being printed. Bummer.
Give it a few years; We’ll be able to recreate anything in due time.