Artificial skin
Artificial skin can refer to skin
-Dermis:The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptors that provide the sense of touch and heat...

 grown in a laboratory that can be used as skin replacement for people who have suffered skin trauma
Skin trauma
Skin trauma is when the skin or multiple layers of epithelial tissues experience serious and altering physical injury. This can be in the form of cuts, burns, sickness or other injury....

 such as severe burn
A burn is an injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation, or friction.Burn may also refer to:*Combustion*Burn , type of watercourses so named in Scotland and north-eastern England...

s or skin diseases.
Alternatively, it can also refer to skin synthetically produced for other purposes.


The skin is the largest organ
Organ (anatomy)
In biology, an organ is a collection of tissues joined in structural unit to serve a common function. Usually there is a main tissue and sporadic tissues . The main tissue is the one that is unique for the specific organ. For example, main tissue in the heart is the myocardium, while sporadic are...

 in the human body
Human body
The human body is the entire structure of a human organism, and consists of a head, neck, torso, two arms and two legs.By the time the human reaches adulthood, the body consists of close to 100 trillion cells, the basic unit of life...

. Severe damage to large areas of skin exposes the human organism to dehydration
In physiology and medicine, dehydration is defined as the excessive loss of body fluid. It is literally the removal of water from an object; however, in physiological terms, it entails a deficiency of fluid within an organism...

 and infection
An infection is the colonization of a host organism by parasite species. Infecting parasites seek to use the host's resources to reproduce, often resulting in disease...

s that can result in death.

Traditional ways of dealing with large losses of skin have been to use skin from other parts of a patient's body (such the thigh
In humans the thigh is the area between the pelvis and the knee. Anatomically, it is part of the lower limb.The single bone in the thigh is called the femur...

) or from a different person/cadaver. The former approach has the disadvantage that there may not be enough skin available, while the latter suffers from the possibility of rejection
Transplant rejection
Transplant rejection occurs when transplanted tissue is rejected by the recipient's immune system, which destroys the transplanted tissue. Transplant rejection can be lessened by determining the molecular similitude between donor and recipient and by use of immunosuppressant drugs after...

 or infection.


To solve these issues, research is being done on artificial skin. Typically, a collagen
Collagen is a group of naturally occurring proteins found in animals, especially in the flesh and connective tissues of mammals. It is the main component of connective tissue, and is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up about 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content...

 scaffold is used (the protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 that underlies the structure of skin), which can be additionally seeded with patient's own cells, or with foreskin
In male human anatomy, the foreskin is a generally retractable double-layered fold of skin and mucous membrane that covers the glans penis and protects the urinary meatus when the penis is not erect...

 from newborns that was removed during circumcision
Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin from the penis. The word "circumcision" comes from Latin and ....

. Additional technologies, such as an autologous
Autotransplantation is the transplantation of organs, tissues or even proteins from one part of the body to another in the same individual. Tissue transplanted by such "autologous" procedure is referred to as an autograft or autotransplant. It is contrasted with xenotransplantation and...

 spray-on skin
Spray-on skin
Spray-on skin is a patented skin culturing treatment for burns victims, developed by scientist Marie Stoner and plastic surgeon Dr Fiona Wood of Perth, Western Australia....

 produced by Avita Medical
Avita Medical
Avita Medical develops spray-on skin processes to treat skin trauma, including burns. They market their artificial skin products under the names CellSpray and ReCell...

, are being tested in efforts to accelerate healing and minimize scarring.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology is working towards a fully automated
Automation is the use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization...

 process for producing artificial skin. Their goal is a simple two-layer skin without blood vessels that can be used to study how skin interacts with consumer products, such as creams and medicines. They hope to eventually produce more complex skin that can be used in transplants.

Synthetic Skin

A form of “Artificial Skin” has been demonstrated which is created out of flexible semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity due to electron flow intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 103 to 10−8 siemens per centimeter...

 materials that can sense touch. The artificial skin is anticipated to augment robotics
Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots...

 in conducting rudimentary jobs that would be considered delicate and require “touch”. It is also expected that the technology can be further advanced to be used on prosthetic limbs to restore a sense of touch.
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