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Artificial human skin development paves way to new skin cancer therapy

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have made a significant breakthrough in skin cancer treatment by utilizing artificial human skin to inhibit invasive growth of cancer in a skin cancer model.

Edited By: India TV Health Desk New Delhi Published on: March 09, 2023 16:06 IST
Image Source : FREEPIK Artificial human skin development paves way to new skin cancer therapy

Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have found artificial human skin to inhibit skin cancer from spreading. The research vividly studies how normal cells turn into cancer cells. Professor Hans Wandall, who led the research team at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine while giving further insights explained that their study focused on the TGF beta pathway, a signaling pathway, responsible for regulating cell growth and division, and facilitating communication between cells and their surroundings. If this pathway is impaired, a normal cell becomes a cancer cell and affects its surrounding tissues.

Usually, our skin cells create a fresh layer of skin and do not invade the epidermis. But, when these cells become cancerous, they start to multiply in an uncontrolled way. They start invading the deeper layers of skin, without respecting any boundaries. This is called invasive growth.

The researchers used genetically manipulated human skin cells to create artificial skin that grows in layers, similar to real human skin. This skin model allowed them to quickly introduce genetic changes and gain insights into how skin develops and renews. Additionally, this model can be used to study other skin disorders, not just skin cancer. Unlike mice models, this skin model provides a more accurate representation of human skin.

Hans Wandall, however, has mentioned that artificial skin which they used to study skin cancer, cannot be used to test how a drug would affect the entire body. Cosmetics companies have been using similar skin models since the 1980s.

The artificial skin can be used to study the effect and extent of damage done by the drug on the skin only. Researchers can then study how molecules work and determine if the drug damages the structure of the skin and healthy skin cells.


1. How is artificial human skin made?

Artificial human skin is made from collagen sheets from cows, pigs and even animals.

2. Is artificial skin permanent?
Yes, permanent artificial skin can be used as a substitute or replacement for a layer of skin, especially in times of wounds and burns.


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