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Print-a-perm? L’Oréal aims to lead on bioprinting hair

By Lucy Whitehouse + , 28-Sep-2016

L’Oréal partnership to develop hair bioprinting

L’Oréal has announced the launch of a partnership aimed at developing the bioprinting of  hair follicles.

Using a bioprinter, the global beauty giant is hoping to engineer the small organ that produces hair in partnership with French biotech company Poietis.

L'Oréal has been committed to tissue engineering for almost 30 years and holds unique knowledge and expertise in the field of hair biology,” the company states. “With this exclusive research partnership, L'Oréal and Poietis are giving themselves the means to pursue a new scientific challenge: bioprinting a hair follicle.

How it works

The two companies will use Poietis’s laser-assisted bioprinting technology in their research to develop a method for hair follicles, according to the teams involved.

The technology can position cells in 3D will very high cellular resolution (in the order of ten microns) and cellular viability (over 95%), the companies state, successively layering micro-drops of bio-inks using a quick scan by a laser beam.

After this, the resulting living biological tissue must then be matured for around three weeks before being subject to tests.

“This research partnership offers exciting perspectives at a time when conventional tissue engineering technologies remain limited in terms of the complexity of cell patterns,” the companies have said.

Years of collaboration ahead

The two companies note that their partnership is set to stretch across several years in the upcoming period, allowing them to move forward in the research of hair biology and hair engineering.

This, they hope, will ultimately lead to new advances in hair knowledge and develop exclusive efficacy testing on bioprinted hair samples too.

"For L’Oréal, the combination of our respective areas of expertise opens up the possibility of previously unheard of achievements in the field of hair. This research partnership is very stimulating for the Advanced Research teams," explains José Cotovio, Director of Predictive Methods and Models department, L’Oréal Recherche & Innovation.

"Our partnership with L’Orél should lead to the development of innovative applications in terms of tissue engineering," says Bruno Brisson, General Manager and Chief Business Officer of Poietis.

"We're very proud to be working with L'Oréal. The fact that a world-renowned company is adopting our technology is a major step for Poietis," confirms Fabien Guillemot, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer at the research firm.

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