The giant French cosmetics company L’Oreal has recently partnered with Organovo, a specialist in bio-3d-printing to create human tissue and skin. The objective being to finally eradicate the very unpopular and morally unacceptable practice of testing their cosmetic products on animals.
Editor’s comment: Finally what most of us probably consider to be an abhorrent practice carried out by the cosmetic industry could be coming to an end. The sooner the better.
This is an important partnership with from one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cosmetic products to develop 3-D bioprinted skin tissue. It could set the stage for a revolution in how cosmetics are not only tested for human use but the speed with which they are brought to market. The power of labelling that says such products are not tested by experimenting on animals is a powerful marketing message indeed.
For sure, the vast majority of consumers are going to be much happier about using 3D printed skin to test shampoo, lipsticks, nail varnish, mascara, perfumes, sun tan lotion and the complete range of cosmetics which are used daily by billions of people worldwide. In fact the list of products tested on animals is almost endless.
Feeling strongly and meaning to be blunt, it is offensive and morally repugnant to cause animal suffering to service human vanity. If 3D printing can put an end to this practice then it would be a wonderful step forward for the dignity of animals.
3D printing of skin is not entirely new having been developed some time ago but applying it to a real world industry like testing cosmetics or its planned use in pharmaceutical trials will be a welcome step forward in animal welfare.
Bio 3D Printing Science
As experts in structurally and functionally accurate bioprinted human tissue models, Keith Murphy (CEO Organovo who are based in San Diego) had this to say;
“3D printing is really powerful because you can make a nice, thick tissue with all the cell types. That makes it more replicative of native tissue, which in turn makes for better product testing.”
Editor’s comment: That means 3D printed skin is a better choice than the tissues of different species of animals like rabbits, dogs and cats.
As Lee Cronin, a University of Glasgow chemist and nanoscientist says on the subject of 3D bio-printing;
“Instead of printing a test tube out of plastic to do chemistry in, let’s say we now print our test tube out of tissue, and we do chemistry in the tissue and look at the response in real time.”
Final comment : This has huge implications for the cosmetics industry. 3D printed tissue and skin should make testing cheaper and more reliable whilst doing away or at least greatly reducing the need for experimenting on animals for human vanity and profit.