Remember that previous post on SCIENCE!?
Well, here you go. See how this:
At a collective Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft booth at the 2009 BIO in Atlanta, the researchers are presenting a computer model of the overall system, along with the three fundamental sub-modules. The first module prepares the tissue samples and isolates the two cell types; the second proliferates them. The finished skin models are built up and cultivated in the third, and then packed by a robot.
The researchers still have a lot of meticulous work ahead before the machine will be finished. The difference between success and failure often depends on details, such as the quality of the skin pieces, processing times of enzymes, and liquid viscosities. Furthermore, the cell cultures must be monitored throughout the entire manufacturing process in order to provide optimal process control and to allow timely detection of any contamination with fungi or bacteria. The skin factory is expected to be finished in two years. “Our goal is a monthly production of 5,000 skin models with perfect quality, and a unit price under 34 euros. These are levels that are attractive for industry,” Saxler continues.
Thanks to advances in biotechnology, German researchers can now rapidly mass produce swatches of real human skin. At 34 Euros per unit, this manufactured skin is so cheap you might soon find it for sale next to bandages in the pharmacy.
Not that the io9/Gizmodo article is really inaccurate; merely that it nearly caused an entirely different – and overly enthusiastic – article to be written. Way of the world and the Internet, I guess.