Researchers create artificial skin using stem cells

SAN FRANCISCO, April 28 (UPI) -- An international team of researchers developed skin grown from human stem cells that may eliminate using animals for drug and cosmetics testing and help develop news therapies for skin disorders.

The team led by Kings College London and the San Francisco Veteran Affairs Medical Center developed the first laboratory-grown epidermis -- the outer layer of skin -- similar to real skin.

"We can use this model to study how the skin barrier develops normally, how the barrier is impaired in different diseases and how we can stimulate its repair and recovery."

The new skin is grown from human pluripotent stem cells -- stem cells that have the potential to differentiate into almost any cell in the body. Under the right circumstances, the stem cell can produce almost all of the cells in the body.

The human induced pluripotent stem cells can produce an unlimited supply of pure keratinocytes, the predominant cell type in the outermost layer of skin that closely match keratinocytes generated from human embryonic stem cells.

The artificial skin forms a protective barrier between the body and the environment keeping out microbes and toxins, while not allowing water from escaping the body.

The findings were published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

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Researchers create artificial skin using stem cells

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