US bioprinting company Organovo is working on a project to test drugs directly on 3D printed functional living tissues. With such tissues patient’s treatments will be safer, faster and more effective. In addition, the company announced this week that it partners up with two institutes from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The company collaborates with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Eye Institute (NEI) in order to create three-dimensional, architecturally correct, functional living tissues. The team uses an Organovo’s NovoGen MMX Bioprinter® for this project.

The project can be very useful for the medical world, as the costs of research and development in the drug industry are rising. Aside of this, more than 95 percent of all experimental medicines that are studied on humans turn out to be ineffective and not safe at all, according to 3Ders. Using tissues for such cases could lower the costs and help researchers in their medical work.

Keith Murphy, who is Organovo’s CEO, explains on the Organovo website why this project is necessary:

“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. Our 3D printer creates living human tissues that more closely reproduce in vivo human tissues. In collaboration with NIH, which has worked to highlight and address the critical need for better models that can lead to better drugs, we hope to create tissue models that give researchers a much more accurate view of how drugs will behave in human beings before those drugs ever enter clinical trials.”

Organovo is definitely a very active party in the world of bioprinting. Last month we brought you the news that the company is working on a 3D printed liver, expected to be working properly at the end of 2014. However, it didn’t imply 3D printing organs and transplanting them into human bodies would become the next step any time soon. This is because organs such as the heart, liver and kidney need a network of blood vessels to work properly, while 3D printing techniques are still incapable of printing out those vessels and integrating them with the human body.

Credits image/ video: Organovo.


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