Aiming to make living tissue, Israeli companies test 3-D stem cell printing
- Two Israeli companies have successfully lab-tested a 3-D bioprinter for production of viable stem cells, aiming to improve the speed and volume at which living cells can be printed.
- Other companies have used 3-D printing technology to manufacture stem cells before, but Nano Dimension and Accellta believe their ability to manufacture cells at scale could enable printing of tissues and organs.
- The collaboration combined Nano Dimension’s 3-D inkjet technology, typically used for printed circuit boards, with Accellta’s suspension-based cell culturing capabilities.
The companies recently conducted a feasibility study to confirm they could produce viable stem cells through their combined production systems.
With the success of that study, Nano and Accellta are contemplating forming a separate business to carry the bioprinting forward. They don’t, however, envision making any significant investments to do so as the new business would raise its open capital if launched.
"3D printing of living cells is a technology that is already playing a significant role in medical research, but in order to reach its full potential, for the field to evolve further, there is a need to improve printing speeds, print resolution, cell control and viability as well as cell availability and bio-ink technologies," said Amit Dror, CEO of Nano Dimension.
The companies cited a forecast from market research firm IDTechEx which predicts the bioprinting marketing will grow to as much as $6 billion by 2024, from $481 million in 2014.
They envision their bioprinting could have applications for clinical research, toxicology assays, and “organ on chips.”