Second Skin

Shoseyov Oded, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Plant Sciences and Genetics

Today’s current method of covering up scars, skin blemishes and topical wounds is limited to makeup or costly skin grafting for major repairs. While makeup is an affordable option, it is not a viable solution since it requires daily application. The other option of skin grafts requires expensive cosmetic surgery and still does not provide a patient with his or her natural skin tones and textures.  

Our Innovation
Second Skin is a nano-thin film that emphasizes aesthetics and is printed to mimic natural healthy skin tones, traits, 3D structure and appearances (e.g. freckles, beauty marks, tattoos or any other skin traits). Second Skin can be either a wearable film or a grafted solution. Second Skin is breathable, permeable, and non-irritating. Our innovation is the fabrication and assembly of a 3D printed stratified epidermis that holds the potential for creating a supplanted epidermis skin. This can serve as a solution for both aesthetic and therapeutic needs. With similar mechanical properties to human skin, it will not tear and has long lasting durability.

We use a biomaterial composited of Keratin and Melanin, both natural materials already found in humans.  Keratin is a protein found in nails and hair and Melanin is a pigment found in human eyes, hair, and skin. Keratin is one of the known strongest biomaterials and Melanin naturally gives human skin its tones and colors. We harnessed these natural properties and joined them together to fabricate Second Skin – a fully authentic skin substitute.

The end goal will be the potential for an off-the-shelf application that people can comfortably purchase without doctor intervention.

Some major advantages: 

  • Novel bio-ink that can control authentic skin pigmentation and texture
  • Combining 2D and 3D high resolution printing methods allowing for skin mimicry
  • Second Skin encourages proper skin growth and grafting by using the specific dermal-epidermal microstructures
  • Keratin and Melanin bio-based non-immunogenic materials
  • Next Generation Second Skin can be printed with electronic components like antennas, RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tags and NFC capabilities for additional E-skin applications (tracking, tagging, monitoring of health, payments etc.).

The grafts have two layers, an outer 2D high resolution printed layer to mimic natural patients skin traits and an inner 3D printed layer to mimic the natural dermal-epidermal junctions to anchor for proper skin grafting and growth.

Figure 1 shows the pigment color wheel that can be obtained to date. In Figure 2, Submicron inner layer of the Second Skin patterns with 3D structure and 2D layout. Finally Figure 3 shows, Keratinocytes’ viability and proliferation on the Second skin model. At first, they surround the pattern interface with the substrate, following with horizontal growth to cover the pattern surface.

Fabrication of Second Skin from Keratin and Melanin, Nowogrodski, C. ; Simon, I. ; Magdassi, S. ; Shoseyov, O. Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2568; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112568

We are looking for industry partners to sponsor ongoing research, to license this technology and to bring this technology to market.


Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
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