Researchers develop synthetic skin -- using Animal Skin ?!!?
Bharat Bhushan, a Howard D. Winbigler Professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State University, and Wei Tang, an engineer at China University of Mining and Technology, have discovered that some synthetic skins are comparable to animal skins in the way that they react to generic skin creams.
Synthetic skin is being developed for burn victims that do not have enough healthy skin left to attempt skin cell regeneration. To compensate, animal skin was considered a viable option, but there are many problems associated with the use of animal skin.
"In addition to ethical issues, animal skin is hard to obtain, expensive and gives highly variable results because of individual skin variability," said Bhushan. "Animal skin will vary from animal to animal, which makes it hard to anticipate how it might affect burn victims individually. But synthetic skin's composition is consistent, making it a more reliable product."
To replace the use of animal skin, researchers have been working to develop synthetic skins that act and feel like real skin. Now, Bhushan and Tang have found that certain types of synthetic skins react to skin creams much like the way animal skins react.
They were able to determine this similarity by using an atomic force microscope to view the skin at a scale of 100 nanometers. At this level, researchers can witness cellular events that are vital to understanding how the synthetic skin reacts. The width of a human hair is 1,000 times larger than 100 nanometers.
When applying the cream to two types of synthetic skin, researchers found that the skin was able to perform similar actions as rat skin.
"The skin cream reduced the surface roughness, increased the skin's ability to absorb moisture from the environment, and softened the skin surface," said Bhushan. "After treatment with skin cream, the trends of the peak-to-valley distance of the two synthetic skins and rat skin were the same, and both of them decreased. This indicates the skin cream treatment smoothed the skin surface."
The next step is to test different skin treatments on the synthetic skins and improve testing methods for measuring specific skin characteristics.
I wonder if:
-the tech could give spots/stripe patterns on skin
-they use pig skin too
-Religious folks would be comfortable using animal skin
-you would try anything if you were a burn/acid victim