Printing The Human Body: How It Works And Where It's Headed
The rise of 3D printing has introduced one of the most ground-breaking technological feats happening right now. The most exciting part though, doesn't have anything to do with printing cars and fancy furniture, but in producing
human tissue, otherwise known as bioprinting. While it's stiff early days, the future of bioprinting looks bright and will eventually result in some major advantages for society, whilst also saving billions for the economy that is spent on
research and development.
Evolution of tissue engineering and bioprinting
- 1984. Charles Hud invented stereolithography, which enabled a tangible 3D object to be created from digital data. The technology was used to create a 30 model from a picture and enabled testing the design before investing in a larger
- 1996. Dr. Gabor Forgacs (ONVO founder) and colleagues made the observation that cells stick together during embryonic development and move together in clumps with liquid-like properties, manufacturing program.
- 2000 (Circa). The first human patients underwent urinary biladder augmentation using a synthetic scaffold seeded with the patients' own cells (engineered, not printed).
- 2003. Thomas Boland’s lab at Clemson modified an inkjet printer to accommodate and dispense cells in scaffolds.
- 2004. Dr. Forgacs developed new technology to engineer 3D tissue with only cells, no scaffolds.
- 2009. Prganovo creates the NovoGen MMX Bioprinter using Forgacs technology.
- 2009-2010. Organovo prints the first human blood vessel without the use of scaffolds.
- 2011. Organovo develops multiple drug discovery platforms, 3D bioprinted disease models made from human cells.
- Today. Small-scale tissues for drug discovery and toxicity testing.
- Tomorrow. simple tissues for implant (e.g. cardia patches or segments of tubes, like blood vessels).
- Future. Lobes or pieces of organs. for example, a patient whi needs a liver transplant has lost about 80-90% of their liver function, so a full liver is not needed to make a therapeutic impact.
- Very furure. Full organs.
- What has been achieved so far: 1) Nerve guides - 2009; 2) Blood vessels - 2010; 3) Cardiac sheet or patch - 2011; 4) Lung tissue - 2012.
Welcome. Let's begin: How it works
- Main components: Cells + Hygrogen + NovoGen MMX bioprinter.
- Creating the BioInk: 1) Cells. Sourced from patient biosies or stem cells, and grown using standard methods and techniques; 2) Cultured. Cells are cultured in a growth medium, enebling cells to multiply and grow; 3) Collected. When
enough cells are produced, they are collected to make BioInk. Cells are then: formed into spheroids or other shapes; Loaded into a cartridge to create the BioInk.
- Printing process (Hygroge, BioInk): 1) NovoGen MMX bioprinter is used to: Print a layer of hydrogel (an inert water based gel), which functions as a space holder for the printed tissue; Deposit BioInk pheroids ainto the layer of
hydrogel; Hydrogel/spheroid print process is repeated; As layers are built upon, the spheroids natirally fuse together; 2) Maturation. Printed tissue is left in the growth medium for several weeks to grow and mature. During which time,
the hydrogel is removed; 3) Use. Printed tissues can then be used in medical research to discover and test new drugs and investigate causes of human diseases. And, in the future, as therapies.
Printing a liver
- The eventual, longterm goals for bioprinting are to produce full organs Using today's technology, an average sized liver (l,200cc) and liver lobe (120cc) would take 10 days to print, As technology improves the speed at which human
tissue and, eventually, full organs can be printed will vastly improve.
- More than 114.300 (waiting list candidates). More than 73.000 (active waiting candidates).
- 1 month (between January-February 2012) - 4.494 transplants took place, 2.218 available donors.
- Approved for liver transplant. 17.000 adults and children have been medically approved for liver transplants and are waiting for donated livers to become available. In 2005, 1.848 patients died waiting for a donated liver to become
Drug industry problem
- Each year, the industry spnds more than $50 billion on research and development, and approximately 20 new drugs are approved by the FDA: 1) 5 out of 5.000 drugs are new drugs; 2) Advance to human testing; 3) Is approved. It
has a 1 in 5.000 chance to make it to the market; 4) A new drug, on average, costs $1.2 billion and takes 12 years to develop.
- 3D bioprinting technology has the potential to significantly impact the speed, predictability and consequently the cost of successful drug discovery.
Resources: Thanks to Organovo for their extensive help and research; http://www.organovo.com; http://www.unis.org; http://www.livefoundation.com; http://www.wired.com; http://www.explainingthefuture.com |