Japanese 3D printing of human tissue has cosmetic potential

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Japanese 3D printing of human tissue has cosmetic potential

Related tags Human tissue Cosmetics

Cyfuse Biomedical, a Japanese 3D printing developer has raised ¥1.4 billion ($11.8 million) for its work with producing human tissue, which has the potential for cosmetics firms testing out new products.

According to Bloomberg, twelve domestic investors stepped forward to take a stake in Cyfuse, including health information provider M3, venture capital firm Jafco, as well as the University of Tokyo Edge Capital.

According to the biotechnology firm; the 'Regenova' three-dimensional printer, developed with medical device manufacturer Shibuya Kogyo, can be used to turn living cell aggregates into artificial human tissue and this funding will boost its sales force and fund future clinical trials.

Cyfuse, founded in 2010 by a former McKinsey & Co. consultant and Panasonic Corp. engineer, and regenerative medicine researcher Koichi Nakayama designs its' 3D printing systems for Japanese universities for research purposes for about ¥40 million each, and plans to start overseas sales this year, mainly in the U.S. and China.

'3D' is cosmetics industry buzz word right now

'3D' is the innovation of the minute for the cosmetics industry, from replicating human tissue for product testing to packaging and colour cosmetic formulations.

Although the technology has been around since the 1980s, it has only been incorporated into modern manufacturing processes in the past few years, thanks mainly to advances in the machinery.

In fact, industry experts say it is the future for both design and manufacturing in cosmetics.

Take for example, former Harvard Business School student Grace Choi who recently invented a 3D ‘Mink printer’ which she says makes it possible to generate colour cosmetics for a fraction of the retail price.

To create the make up, a user choses a shade of colour they like from a photo or online for example and the software is used to convert the colour into a computer-readable hex code which is then transferred into an image reading programme, like Photoshop, and clicks 'Print'.

The inkjet handles the pigment, and the same raw material substrates can create any type of makeup, from powders to cream to lipstick. 

According to Choi, this innovation at $200, is cheaper in the long run for the consumer as brands can "jack" up the price for mixing pigment and the substrates together, and will also offer more choice as they will be able to do it from their home.  

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