On the Horizon: Lab Created Skin Grown from Mice Cells
Mouse Stem Cells Used To Create Highly Realistic Lab-Grown Skin, Scientists Say.
STAT (4/1, Samuel) reports that in research published in the April 1 issue of the journal Science Advances, researchers claim to “have used mouse stem cells to create a highly realistic lab-grown skin that contains sweat glands and hair follicles.” Investigators “coaxed mouse-induced pluripotent stem cells into skin cells by recreating the skin’s chemical environment.” Next, they “grew these cells in the lab to produce bundles of cells with the three layers of skin represented – epidermis, dermis, and a subcutaneous fat layer – as well as sweat glands and hair follicles.”
According to HealthDay (4/1, Dotinga), “the newly developed skin tissue was able to form the proper connections to the muscle, fat and nerve tissue around it.” This allowed “the transplanted skin tissue to function properly, such as growing hair and releasing oils from the sebaceous glands, the researchers said.” Testing such a technique in human beings, however, is at least a decade away.
LiveScience (4/1, Blaszczak-Boxe) pointed out that someday, in addition to a “potential application in human patients” in treating hair loss or creating “better skin transplants” for burn patients, “the newly developed skin tissue...could be used as an alternative to testing cosmetics on animals, the researchers said.” BBC News (UK) (4/1, Webb) and the Telegraph (UK) (4/1, Knapton) also covered the story.