Development of An Asian-Skin in A Microfluidic Plate for Safety Assessment

Problem Statement

The use of in vitro human skin models, also known as organotypic co-cultures (OTC), has lately become a major advancement by the cosmetic industry to reconcile issues of ethical constraints and biocompatibility. Fabrication of in vitro human skin models generally involves multiple steps of material and cell preparation using a manual method. These in vitro skin models face limitations in terms of manpower, readability, and are time-consuming. Furthermore, commercially-available skin tissue models are expensive.


This project aims to use 3D bioprinting technology to reconstruct the Asian skin model, which closely mimics the biochemical and physiological properties of human skin. The project also aims to develop an Asian skin-on-a-microfluidic plate device to establish a high-throughput screening method, improve productivity and repeatability, and to enable the development of new qualitative measurement protocols.

Top view of bioprinted fibroblast-keratinocytes (dermal equivalent)
Top view of bioprinted fibroblast-keratinocytes (dermal equivalent)

Key Benefits/Outcomes

  • A full-thickness human in vitro skin model was successfully fabricated through the combination of extrusion and microvalve bioprinting techniques.
  • The fabrication process allows fast printing of the dermal layer comprising of collagen mixture with fibroblast while area patterning the epidermal layer using keratinocytes in a cell suspension.
  • Developed a propriety collagen mixture bioink that is ideal for bioprinting and superior to commercial collagen.
  • Developed a 3D printed microfluidic device and fabricated a functional prototype that has comparable permeability test function as Franz cell system.
  • NTU has filed 2 technology disclosures e. the print protocols of full-thickness human skin models and the microfluidic platform design



Mr. Marc Lee

Ms. Jessie Tee