L'Oréal and Poietis partner to bioprint hair follicles

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Biotech company Poietis and cosmetics giant L’Oréal have formed a research partnership with the goal of 3D printing a hair follicle – the small organ that produces hair – using laser-assisted bioprinting technology.

The technology, developed by Poietis, can position cells in three dimensions with extremely high cellular resolution on the order of 10µm, and cellular viability of more than 95 per cent. The process uses a laser beam to layer micro-drops of bioinks successively to form biological tissue. The resulting tissue must then be matured for around three weeks before it can be used in tests.  

The combination of Poietis’ bioprinting technology with L'Oréal's hair biology expertise could enable the creation of functioning follicles that are able to produce hair.

‘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,’ said Fabien Guillemot, CEO and chief scientific officer at Poietis. ‘Our partnership with L’Oréal should lead to the development of innovative applications in terms of tissue engineering,’ added Bruno Brisson, general manager and chief business officer.

Poietis and L'Oréal's multi-annual research partnership in the areas of hair biology and hair engineering should ultimately lead to new advances in hair knowledge and enable the development of efficacy testing on bioprinted hair samples.

‘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,’ explained José Cotovio, director of predictive methods and models department at L’Oréal Recherché and Innovation.

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