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UK: Skin-Bioreactor

3D Reconstructed Skin Replaces Animal Testing

| Editor: Alexander Stark

Dr Eirini Velliou hopes that the potential success of her development will help reduce the use of animal testing in biomedical research in the future.
Dr Eirini Velliou hopes that the potential success of her development will help reduce the use of animal testing in biomedical research in the future. (Source: University of Surrey)

The University of Surrey and Unilever are developing the next generation of 3D reconstructed human skin to help test cosmetic products and drugs.

Surrey/UK — With animal testing for cosmetic purposes now banned in the United Kingdom, America and much of Europe, Dr Eirini Velliou has been awarded a prestigious Industrial Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering, allowing her to work with Unilever to develop a unique skin-bioreactor based on polymers, with robust and tuneable architecture/structure, and perfusion.

Dr Velliou will use Unilever’s products to test and optimize the reactor, which is hoped to be used as a low cost, animal free and accurate surrogate for cosmetics. The scientist hopes that her reactor will address some of the problems that have plagued other reconstructive models – such as the ability to mimic blood circulation and the lack of mechanical integrity. She also hopes that the potential success of this product will help reduce the use of animal testing in biomedical research in the future.

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