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Artificial Skin Swatches Mass-Produced

Artificial skin is now in mass production at Germany's Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft science institute. Their basic skin production system an produce up to 5,000 little swatches of human skin per month.


(Mass produced artificial skin)

Each little swatch is about one-tenth of a square inch and costs just $49 to produce. The process is completely automated; computers monitor the vats that the skin grows in, guiding the blade that cuts them free and tests the final product (including checking for infection). The artificial skin comes complete with blood vessels and can be used for grafts and plastic surgery.

Science fiction fans have been chafing over the relatively slow growth of the artificial skin industry. In Frank Herbert's 1977 novel The Dosadi Experiment, BuSab agent Jorx X. McKie routinely packed some uniflesh, with attached mediskin, for purposes of creating a disguise.

From Popular Science.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/17/2009)

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