Animal testing: 3D skin models research project continues

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Animal testing: 3D skin models research project continues

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A research project between Brain AG and Mannheim University of Applied Sciences is seeking to lead the way on development of 3D skin models for health and cosmetics applications.

The M2Aind (Multimodal Analytics and Intelligent Sensorics for the Health Industries) research project is a public-private-partnership project led by Mannheim University of Applied Sciences (MUAS), with BRAIN having been an active partner of from the start.

The project began in January 2017, with BRAIN and MUAS researching areas including the development of a 3D skin model for better understanding of skin physiology with the aim to provide new insights for health care and cosmetic applications.

As a first project milestone, the research partners MUAS and BRAIN have published a review article entitled 'In Vitro Skin Three-Dimensional Models and Their Applications' in the Journal of Cellular Biotechnology.

Potential future applications

Within M2Aind, researchers from MUAS are building on their special knowledge and infrastructure for 3D cell culture and analytics, the research group explains.

Dr Rüdiger Rudolf, Professor of Biosensorics at MUAS and coordinator of the M2 Aind impulse project M2 OGA, says:

The review article also gives an outlook on prospective future developments, including the use and exploitation of novel human stem cell technologies for personalized diagnosis, therapy development, and regenerative medicine.

The review serves as a guide for choosing appropriate cell models in skin pharmaceutical and cosmetics research and has helped the cooperation partners BRAIN and MUAS in further shaping common goals.​”

Reporter cells engineering: industrial application

BRAIN has developed special expertise for engineering reporter cells in human skin for industrial applications, it states, and this knowledge, plus knowledge of market-relevant application fields, is now being transferred into M2Aind.

Dr Torsten Ertongur-Fauth, Research Scientist & Project Manager at BRAIN, says: “3D spheroid models of the skin are great tools to understand how skin cells are coping with detrimental environmental influences, for example mechanical stress, UV radiation or pathogens.

“However, it is still challenging to visualize the molecular processes that are ongoing in the different keratinocyte layers in real-time and with high-resolution.

“So, we are very pleased to have the support of our partner MUAS to further develop our unique skin reporter cells into advanced 3D models that allow industrial screenings for new small-molecule actives.”

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