The artificial skin made and used in the Núcleo Vitro laboratory uses tissue engineering techniques to mimic a skin very similar to that found in humans. Often also called laboratory skin or reconstructed tissue, this skin is made from the culture of cells present in the skin. However, instead of using the cells on the culture plates where they are in a two-dimensional (2D) culture attached to a plastic surface, we recreate the environment of the dermis and epidermis. The dermis reconstruction uses a matrix of collagen – a protein abundant in the skin dermis – to create a three-dimensional culture with cells from the dermis. In the upper portion, we use cells from the epidermis. This culture can take 10 to 30 days to mature and then we obtain the artificial skin to proceed with the tests.
Artificial skin has advantages over traditional cell culture because it mimics an environment very similar to what we have on our skin. Firstly, because we have the presence of different cell types that communicate with each other, compared to the cultivation of cells in 2D in which only one cell type is used. In addition, these cells are related to collagen, the main protein in our skin’s dermis, whereas in 2D cell cultures, the cells are attached to a plastic surface that we don’t have in our body. In this way, artificial skin has morphological and physiological similarities with our human skin.
Artificial skin has been widely used to reduce or avoid tests on animals and is capable of carrying out product safety and effectiveness tests. Because it is more similar to the skin of humans, it has high reliability of these tests which can also reduce the need for tests with humans. Núcleo Vitro already develops artificial skin in our laboratory. Contact us to learn more!