Californian bio-printing company Organovo has announced that it will join two of the US’s National Institutes of Health to help develop tissue models more effective in clinical testing.
The bioprinting method used by Organovo involves identifying “key architectural and compositional elements” in living tissue, designing to this, and printing layered “bio ink” to simulate the tissue. A hydrogel material can be used as a scaffold during printing.
"Researchers who develop new therapies for patients are too often hampered by animal models and traditional cell culture models that are poor predictors of drug efficacy and toxicity in human beings," said Organovo’s CEO Keith Murphy in a statement on the partnership with two of the NIH institutes.
"Our 3D printer creates living human tissues that more closely reproduce in vivo human tissues.”
The clinically predictive tissue models will be created using the NovoGen MMX Bioprinter, developed in partnership with Australian company Invetech, headquartered in Melbourne.
The bioprinting technology will be used in the NIS’s Advancing Translational Sciences and National Eye Institute.
“ This technology could provide us with a renewable and easy-to-manipulate source of functional eye tissue,” said Dr Paul A. Sieving of the NEI.
Late last year Organovo predicted that 2014 would be the year in which it created a human liver using bioprinting, which would be effective as a research and testing tool but not suitable for transplant.