This blog has mentioned before how 3-D printing has already changed the face of medicine and promises to do even more in the future. One such innovation is the technique known as bio-printing, in which organic material is created for use with living tissue. When 3-D printing is added to the process, it not only expedites the production of the material, but it increases the number of applications for which the process can be used.
Not only has 3-D bio-printing become a crucial tool in the avenues of stem cells, heart repair, and the treatment of cancer, but it could also eliminate one of the most controversial factors of the pharmaceutical and beauty industries. Although animal testing is regarded as a scientific necessity amongst scientific academia, it’s an incredibly divisive topic that has long stirred the ire of animal rights groups and humanitarian organizations. But soon that argument could become a moot point.
The L’Oreal company, one of the largest beauty companies in the world, recently announced a partnership with the bio-printing company Organovo. The aim of the partnership is for Organovo to provide L’Oreal with bio-printed human tissue for use in testing their cosmetics. Though still in the developmental stage, the harvested material would ideally provide more accurate results with how human skin reacts to the beauty products.
The need for animal testing probably won’t go away in the foreseeable future, but projects like the L’Oreal partnership with Organovo illuminate how technology has the potential to both streamline common necessities and help eliminate the moral dilemmas surrounding them.