You don’t have to hit the genetic jackpot to have long, luxurious hair. Sure, you could get a wig, try that new volume-boosting shampoo, or give Rogaine a shot. L’Oreal might have a more high-tech solution.
The beauty giant announced a partnership this week with French biotechnology company Poietis to produce hair follicles using a bioprinter.
Poietis’s laser-assisted bioprinting technology can position cells in 3D with cellular resolution on the order of ten microns and cellular viability of over 95 percent. The technology involves successively layering micro-drops of bioinks using a quick scan by a laser beam. The living biological tissue then matures for about three weeks before it can be used in tests.
“The combination of this exclusive technology with L’Oreal’s unique expertise in hair biology could make it possible to create a functional follicle capable of producing hair – that is the ambition of L’Oreal and Poietis,” said a statement from L’Oreal.
Last year, L’Oreal partnered with Organovo to produce bioprinted skin. The company has long used a skin called Episkin derived from incubated skin cells donated by surgery patients. The living skin is used for tests to avoid animal testing.
The new hair partnership is a multi-annual research deal that could lead to similar testing on bioprinted hair samples.
“Our partnership with L’Oreal should lead to the development of innovative applications in terms of tissue engineering,” said Bruno Brisson, Poietis’s chief business officer.
Filed Under: Materials • advanced