Bioprinting really is a wonder technology. It’s showing us possible solutions to all sorts of problems, from advanced tissue growth to organ replacement. However, one of the core issues with bioprinting applications is that they haven’t reached the market. While most of the research is helpful, there aren’t many examples of it that leave universities and laboratories too often. Companies like Precise Bio are planning on changing this dynamic with biofabrication. They are aiming to bring medical applications like printed corneas to the market in a big way.
While the company is not ready for clinical treatment, they are setting up operations and have taken up collaborators on 2 key projects. Precise Bio are currently pursuing multiple different ophthalmic programs, which may make them the first company to provide commercial corneas and other optical treatments. Moreover, the company is going to do this with 4D new bio-fabrication technologies with advanced capabilities.
Precise Bio works with a lot of different types of bioprinting medical applications, including cardiology and tissue engineering. They want to provide their printers to eye banks, a noble endeavour considering how difficult functioning eyes are to procure. As the company states:
We combine world-class tissue-engineering and transplantation experience with best-in-class bio-printing, to create a scalable bio-fabrication platform, that can overcome current industry challenges and make complex human organs available for transplantation.
“Key advantages of this platform compared with other bio-fabrication approaches are that it is able to generate complex tissues in a highly reproducible manner and to apply lessons learned from the fabrication of one tissue to the next,” the company claimed in a statement.
Researchers have long been trying to print out complex tissue structures with blood vessels and nerves. With Precise Bio’s technique, they can 4D-bio-fabricate it, which allows for cell expansion, the use bio-materials, printing technology and other required critical technologies. It also allows them to customise per patient or mass produce as needed.
The company could crack the first true market application of bioprinting, possibly with corneas or other organs. Waiting lists in the US are backed up with people looking for donor organs. This sort of initiative could really alleviate that problem and also bring transplant organs to places around the world.
Featured image courtesy of Precise Bio, retrieved via Spectrum IEEE.