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Lab-grown dog skin for vet treatments

Dog skin

Researchers in Germany have developed the first laboratory dog skin, for use in testing medical treatments and care products for dogs.

With 10-15% of dogs suffering from skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, a type of long-term inflammation of the skin, there is a pressing need for effective treatments since traditional methods have been insufficient.

The WowWowSkin project, developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) in Stuttgart, succeeded in creating a lab-grown skin (pictured) that mimics real canine skin, to allow safety assessments without using animals.

Anke Burger-Kentischer, at Fraunhofer IGB, said: "We can mimic [skin conditions] on skin equivalents by contaminating them with bacteria. When we then apply drugs or active substances to them, we can quickly see whether the treatment has an effect and reduces the number of bacteria.”

Fraunhofer now plans to extend this technology to other animal species, such as cats and horses.


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