Skin Printer: The Inkjet That Prints Human Flesh

By Wesley Fenlon

Horror films are going to have so much fun with this one.

Most of the future science and research we cover here at Tested falls into the “totally amazing” category, but here’s one that strikes an unusual balance between amazing and kinda-sorta gross. Researchers from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine are developing a skin printer, which uses everyday inkjet technology with one small difference--instead of ink, it’s spraying out skin cells.

fibrinogen, while the other releases another coagulant called thrombin. The mixture promotes clotting and the formation of scar tissue, and is topped by another layer of skin cells.

The researchers are moving on from mice to pigs for the next wave of testing, which will more closely reflect the skin printer’s effectiveness on human skin. We wish them luck: we could soon be sending MakerBots onto the battlefield to whip up lifesaving fresh flesh for wounded soldiers.