A laser bioprinter

PARIS — L’Oréal and Poietis have entered research partnership to develop 3-D printing of hair with the aim of better understanding its growth mechanism. The findings ultimately could be parlayed into new product formulas or molecules used to help counteract hair loss, for instance.

The companies’ multiyear association will focus on the “bioprinting” of a hair follicle, which is the small organ that produces hair, possibly allowing for L’Oréal and Poietis to create a follicle capable of reproducing hair.

L’Oréal has been involved with tissue engineering for almost three decades. In June, its U.S. division and Organovo Holdings Inc. said they are one year to 18 months away from commercializing skin tissue produced with a bioprinter. And in China, L’Oréal markets Episkin, a human epidermis model reconstructed from Asian keratinocytes.

Biotechnology company Poietis, based in Pessac, France, was created in 2014 to develop human tissues for research and regenerative medical purposes. Poietis, which makes 3-D models with laser-assisted bioprinting, partners with pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies.

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