Researchers develop new, improved human-skin equivalent that can reduce tests on animals
This artificial skin reproduces traction-force balance in the lateral direction, a property that controls the structure and physiological function of skin.
It provides a barrier and physical cushion that protects the body from the external environment. In addition to responding to external physical stimuli such as pressure and tension, the skin is constantly in a state of "tensional homeostasis" in which the cells near the outer layer of skin maintain a stable and steady tension through collagen fibers.
This tension helps keep internal structures strong, yet flexible. When skin is cut from an organism, it contracts in the same direction in which collagen fibers, texture, and the hairline are aligned.
While synthetic skin models have been developed as alternatives to testing animals when developing safe and functional skincare products, it is difficult to study the tension distribution in the body because of its complexity.
Although the healthcare market is expected to grow to 5.25 trillion dollars within 10 years, social demands to reduce the use of animals, especially for skincare products and medicines, is increasing.