Jun 13, 2016

Organovo, the California based 3D biotech company, has recently announced a collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in an effort to develop advanced 3D bioprinted tissues to be used for skeletal disease research. The promising partnership is being largely funded by theMethuselah Foundation, as part of its ongoing University 3D Bioprinter Program.

Through its University 3D Bioprinter Program, which two years ago helped to fund Organovo’s partnership with Yale for 3D bioprinting transplant tissues, Methuselah has donated more than $500,000, meant to be divided amongst a number of institutions working with Organovo on diverse bioprinting research projects. The money from the Methuselah Foundation is expected to fund the bioprinter costs, as well as key elements of the research process.

The recent partnership between Organovo and UCFS is focused on skeletal disease research, a group of conditions that affect millions worldwide. For instance, Muscoskeletal disorders are recognized as the second leading cause of disabilities around the world, and include such common afflictions as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, back pain, and more. Additionally, inherited skeletal disorders are said to affect every 2.4 out of 10,000 births, so having a more advanced research method, such as that afforded by 3D bioprinting, could be pivotal in discovering better treatments. In fact, 3D bioprinting could offer researchers a much better understanding than previous 2D methods (like petri-dishes) especially for developing in vitro modeling for bone diseases, which could help promote bone growth and repair.

Dr. Edward Hsiao, assistant professor at the UCSF School of Medicine, says of the partnership: “When we study skeletal diseases, such as bone cancer or heterotopic ossification, most of the research occurs in a two-dimensional environment, such as a petri dish. That tells us a lot about how cells interact with other cells, but not how they function in a natural three-dimensional scaffold. This type of 3D bioprinting creates better mechanisms for combining inorganic scaffolds with live cells and will likely have key implications for how we repair damaged skeletal tissues, as well as many other tissues in the body.”

The partnership between medical lab Organovo and UCSF also includes Tamara Alliston, Chelsea Bahney, Jeff Lotz, and Robert Nissenson’s research labs.

2D petri dish

Keith Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Organovo said in a press release, “Partnerships with world-class institutions can accelerate groundbreaking work in finding cures for critical unmet disease needs and the development of implantable therapeutic tissues. This collaboration with UCSF, which combines their expertise with our own, is another important step in this direction.  With the devoted support of the Methuselah foundation, leading researchers are able to leverage Organovo’s powerful technology platform to achieve significant breakthroughs.”

With the Methuselah Foundation funding and Organovo’s 3D bioprinting technologies, all concerned parties are hoping to develop regenerative medicine, and tissue engineering to advance our understanding of and treatments for skeletal diseases.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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