The Low Post News

Skin Sample Grown From Stem Cells for First Time

Kings College London scientists said that a new method for growing epidermal skin could be used in a number of industries.

A team of international researchers led by the university in London developed the first ever epidermis grown in the lab. The epidermis is the thin layer that makes up the outermost part of the skin, which prevents infection from entering the person’s body.

The epidermis was made through the use of pluripotent stem cells, which are capable of growing in a number of ways to fit varying functions.

Scientists at Kings College believe the latest breakthrough will provide a cost effective and alternative lab model for testing cosmetics and drugs, negating a need for using animals and could help develop therapies for disorders of the skin.

Pharmaceutical companies now will be able to make tests on drugs in a large scale through using the new skin, screening them for potential harm.

The leader of the researchers said the ability to obtain unlimited numbers of genetically identical groups could be used in the study of different conditions where the barrier of the skin is defective because of gene mutation such as with eczema atopic dermatitis and ichthyosis flaky dry skin.

Up to this point, tissue engineers struggled to grow epidermis that is complex with a protective barrier.

The recent study describes how the stem cells are induced into making an unlimited amount of skin cells that were exposed to humidities and formed layers until they had formed a barrier that was functional and identical to skin.

Biopsies revealed that the skin cells developed from the stem cells show no difference in functional or structural properties compared with the outermost human skin layer.

The announcement of the break through is weeks after another separate team from Kings reported that they had identified bone marrow cells that could be transformed into new skin cells in order to repair skin tissue that was damaged.

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