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Dr. Burcin Ekser and his research team at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) have been awarded $9 million to further their 3D bioprinting research for the development of transplantable organs.
A three year deal, the money was contributed by Lung Biotechnology PBC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR), that is also working with 3D Systems.
Time - Funding - Announcement - Dr - Esker
At the time of the funding announcement, Dr. Esker commented, “This alliance with Lung Biotechnology will greatly enhance our ability to accomplish our ultimate goal of providing an unlimited supply of organs to save human lives.”
Highlighting the transplantable organ shortage, Dr. Esker added:
IT - MY - PASSION - BECAUSE - TRANSPLANT
“IT’S MY PASSION BECAUSE I’M A TRANSPLANT SURGEON; I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO DIE WHILE THEY’RE WAITING FOR A TRANSPLANTABLE ORGAN.”
An alternative to animal testing?
Dr - Ekser - Team - IUSM - Xenotransplantation
Dr. Ekser and the team are responsible for IUSM’s xenotransplantation lab. Xenotransplantation is the practice of cross-species transplantation and, due to close biological similarities, the team is working develop ways of producing pig organs that can be donated to humans.
In one area of interest, the IUSM team is working with CRISPR gene editing to bioengineer pig organs that are even more suited to human transplant.
Area - Team - Organs - Sample - Pig
In a second area, the team is investigating how to use 3D bioprinting to grow organs from a sample of pig cells, eradicating the use of live animal.
3D bioprinting technology used at IUSM is the Kenzan method, marketed in the Regenova 3D bioprinter from Cyfuse Biomedical K.K. A “scaffold-free” approach, the Kenzan method is based on a needle array, tightly arrange into a square.
Representation - Kenzan - Method - Image - Cyfuse
Graphic representation of the Kenzan method. Image via Cyfuse Biomedical K.K.
To 3D print, lab-grown cells are individually skewered on to each needle in the array, gradually building up a desired shape, e.g. a cylindrical vessel.
Cells - Left - Culture
Neatly packed against each other, these cells naturally fuse together when left to culture, creating a...
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