New “artificial skin” product launched


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New “artificial skin” product launched
Global technology company Greiner Bio-One is launching ThinCert cell culture inserts, a form of artificial skin which can be used as an alternative to animal testing.

The product allows human skin cells to be cultured in a thin membrane, where they can develop the same properties as normal human skin.This means that it gives more accurate results in cosmetics trials than testing done on animals.

ThinCert will be available with a variety of different multiwall plate sizes and pore diameters depending on the specific requirements of customers.


In a statement, the manufacturer said: “ThinCert inserts are thus ideal not only for primary cell cultures but also for transport, secretion and diffusion studies, migration experiments, cytotoxicity tests, co-cultures and transpithelial electrical resistance measurements.”

Andrew Ford, product manager for the company, said: “For twenty years the government has been reducing the number of grants available for products tested on animals.”

“The obvious thing about this product is that it gives people a viable alternative which doesn’t involve the use of animals.”


ThinCert provides a thin membrane which both provides cultured human cells with enough oxygen and fluid to develop normally and actively encourages them to multiply.

Because of the construction of the product, the cells form a surface which is similar to the natural human epidermis. This can then be used to test if cosmetics are toxic or are likely to have any negative effects on human skin.

According to Ford, the technology for cultivating skin cells artificially has been used for around 15 or 20 years.


ThinCert is being released shortly after trading in animal-tested cosmetics has been prohibited in the EU.

Selling cosmetics tested on animals was banned in March this year, following on from the 2009 ban on testing.

India also declared animal testing off limits on June 28 this year.

In the aftermath of the events in Europe, campaigns such as “Be Cruelty Free” have been launched to attempt to persuade China to make animal testing illegal.

Humane Society International (HSI) president Andrew Rowan has called animal testing: “expensive, slow and not terribly good at protecting human outcome.”

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