Tuesday, 19 Apr, 2011 Science

Factory Where Robots Build Artificial Skin


There is a factory in Germany that has several robots creating artificial skin. The latter is then used in transplants. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, scientists are using animal proteins to make the skin. Currently the tests are carried out on animals, so in the near future the same process could be applied to humans.

Every month the factory is able to produce 5,000 penny-sized discs of transparent tissue. The latter is whitish but according to researchers it can also be made in shades of brown. One disc costs about $72.

The skin-making process is entirely controlled by robots and computers. Of course the process occurs in the sterile and climate-controlled environment. Computer-controlled lasers and blades accurately cut samples of skin.

The final goal of the project is to make way for factory-produced human skin with blood vessels. If researchers reach their goal, they will be able to make a huge step toward a faster and more effective treatment of injuries, reports Der Spiegel.

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