Since 2015, French biotechnology company Poietis has been co-developing its 3D laser-assisted bioprinting technology to fabricate skin models. Now BASF, the largest chemicals producer in the world, will be helping Poietis develop the technology for new services in the cosmetics industry.
An end to animal testing
By cracking down on animal cruelty laws, international governments have given rise to the development of harmless, and more accurate, means of testing new drugs and cosmetics products. An ability to test substances on 3D cell structures, instead of in a 2D platform, means synthetic organ models are a more faithful imitation of natural tissues than ever before.
Fabien Guillemot, Founder and President of Poietis, explains, “Bio-printed 3D models are the method of choice for the predictive evaluation of ingredients as these models reproduce the cell environment in vitro by having mechanical and metabolic functionalities close to the vivo.”
Tackling all layers of the skin
Mimeskin is BASF’s answer for synthetic skin. As such, the first stage of the Poeitis agreement will focus on developing automated production of Mimeskin models, adding to R&D intelligence gained in a previous project with BASF. Afterwards, the collaborators will work on adding more complexity to the models, adding new cell types such as pigment producing melanocytes or hair cells.
Sebastien Cadau, head of tissue engineering development at BASF, explains, “During our cooperation, we gained important insights like the parameters and kinetics of dermis maturation. A mature and thick dermis is an essential condition to obtain optimum results in epidermal printing.”
Entering the commercial market
Since September 2016 Poietis has been working with L’Oréal cosmetics to develop 3D bioprinted hair. Biotechnology competitor Organovo has also been working with the French cosmetics giant in efforts to fabricate skin tissue. However a sharp decline in Organovo’s share-price and having a sizeable proportion of their workforce redundant has added to concerns about the company.
BASF’s intention is to bring several new skin therapy treatments to market “in the coming years.” In relation to BASF, Bruno Brisson, Poietis Co-Founder and Vice President of Business Development, concludes, “This agreement confirms a fruitful scientific collaboration and strengthens our partnership with the leading ingredients manufacturer for the personal care market.”
“This is a formal recognition of Poietis’ unique technology and its valorization driven by new developments since the creation of the company.”
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Featured image shows a Poietis 3D bioprinted skin sample. Photo via Poeitis