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UK biotech start-up unveils lab-grown leather

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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3D Bio-Tissues lab-grown leather Credits: 3D Bio-Tissues

UK-based biotech start-up 3D Bio-Tissues (3DBT), powered by BSF Enterprise, has unveiled a lab-grown leather sample at the Future Fabrics Expo in London designed to meet the increasing demand for environmentally and animal-conscious alternative leather products.

The bio-engineered samples are structurally and genetically identical to traditional leather. However, unlike farm-based leather, lab-grown leather is made without harming any animals but can still be tanned using either traditional leather production processes or modern ecologically sensitive approaches, resulting in a material as diverse in colour and appearance as classic leather.

The ‘tissue-engineered skin’ has been grown solely from immortalised cells, isolated and collected from an adult female horse following a strict and painless bioethics process, to produce a skin/hide structure in a lab over six weeks without the use of any additional supporting materials such as plastics or cellulose in the final skin product.

3D Bio-Tissues lab-grown leather Credits: 3D Bio-Tissues

3DBT adds that its lab-grown leather is particularly unique and differs from alternative models of lab-grown leather as it uses its patented serum-free and animal-free cell culture media supplement, City-mix, which accelerates tissue production whilst reducing the cost of the production process.

This means that 3DBT's lab-grown leather is 100 percent animal tissue without any animals harmed in the process as well as being 'rationally designed' which facilitates novel tanning methods to help address the environmental concerns with current tanning processes. This process could be used in manufacturing footwear, apparel, handbags, furniture, fashion, automotive and accessories.

Dr Che Connon, managing director of BSF Enterprise, commented: "We are delighted to present this high-quality lab-grown leather, which we believe has the potential to meet the ever-increasing demand for animal-conscious alternative leather products.

“The product we have unveiled today demonstrates the potential of our tissue engineering technology in solving some of the fashion industry’s greatest issues and we look forward to engaging brands with our technology over the coming days.”

3D Bio-Tissues
Future Fabrics Expo
leather alternative
Next gen materials