CA21108 - European Network for Skin Engineering and Modeling (NETSKINMODELS)

Project Details


Over the past years, investigative and experimental dermatology has developed various approaches, ranging from utilisation of ex-vivo skin tissues to establishment of reconstructed in-vitro and in-silico skin models as tools in both basic and translational skin research. These models have the strong potential to increase the significance of scientific and clinical outcomes and to reduce animal experimentation. Nevertheless, current skin models lack sophistication and standardisation, thereby hampering their wider acceptance by the scientific community and regulatory bodies. This is partly caused by a lack of cross talk between relevant stakeholders — regulatory bodies, basic scientists, clinicians, and industry — whereby advances in new technologies have not delivered their full potential in this field.

In the proposed Action, interdisciplinary and intersectoral research and coordinated initiatives will drive the development and validation of standout sophisticated cell-based and computational skin models, including the development of artificial intelligence models for dermatological research. Furthermore, the Action has ambitions to develop ethical and sustainable reagents required for the elaboration of organotypic skin models, based on a strong partnership between network academia and industries. Harmonisation of scientific and technological knowledge and an enduring bottom-up dynamic in the field will be ensured by dissemination of leading-edge know-how among research intensive and research moderate European territories. Moreover, next-generation scientists will be trained for the long-term propagation and continued development of skin models. Action outcomes will turbocharge the field of skin models to meet rising scientific, clinical, economic, environmental and regulatory expectations, making Europe the epicentre of research in this field.

Layman's description

An EU-funded and international network of researchers, industrial partners and clinicans seeking to develop more advanced 3D skin models thus reducing the use of animals in research and industrial applications. This network of experts will join their knowledge through regular meetings, student and young researacher training schools and by reaching out to potential partners in other countries world-wide.

Key findings

3D modelling, animal replacement, 3Rs, rare skin conditions, ageing, wound healing, ECVAM, OECD, epidermal barrier, industry, EU-ban (2004), patient-specific models. Training schools
Short titleCA21108
Effective start/end date15/09/2214/10/26

Collaborative partners

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


  • 3D modelling
  • skin
  • epidermal barrier
  • rare skin diseases
  • wound healing
  • ageing
  • 3Rs
  • EU ban (cosmetics)
  • cosmetic testing
  • OECD
  • microfluids
  • iPCSs
  • ESCs
  • keratinocytes
  • fibroblasts
  • melanocytes
  • full-thickness
  • EU
  • global
  • training schools
  • young investigators
  • diversity
  • drug development
  • patient-directed
  • gender equality


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