Scientists Grew Living Human Skin That Self-Heals on a Robot Finger

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Ummm. I just hope these researchers fully absorbed the lessons of West World et al. Fascinating, if a little unsettling, stuff from researchers out of the University of Tokyo. Via VICE:

So, the scientists turned to “skin equivalents,” which are currently used as implants to treat severe burns. This equivalent is made of living human skin cells and hydrogels made of, for example, collagen. In their work, the researchers effectively grew skin on top of a robot finger. To do this, they first cultured the dermis (the middle layer of human skin) on the robot finger using a mixture of collagen and dermal fibroblasts, which are human skin cells that allow skin to recover from injury. Then, they seeded this dermis with keratinocytes, which are cells that make up the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin), and ultimately ended up with a robot finger in a sleeve of living human skin equivalent.

This skin equivalent displayed the ability to heal itself. The researchers sliced the finger with a surgical tool and applied a plain old collagen sheet over the wound, like a Band-Aid. After about a week, the skin had healed over the wound.

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