Jul.30, 2012

Gabor Forgacs, Executive and Scientific Director of the Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson University and the George H. Vineyard Professor of Biological Physics at the University of Missouri, has been awarded the AutoVision Innovations Award from 2b AHEAD, a German think tank.

(Left to right: Jörg Munzel, head of AutoVision GmbH; Ilka Groenewold, moderator; Mr. Forgacs, and Gabor Swen Janszky, director of 2b AHEAD ThinkTank. Credit: Clarkson.edu)

This award for the most innovative technological development over the past 12 months recognizes Forgacs' pioneering work in 3D bioprinting. This technology to fabricate animal and human tissue on demand can eventually lead to organ replacement and will also speed up drug development.

"I'm a theoretical physicist turned biological physicist, turned tissue engineer, turned entrepreneur," says Forgacs. The award, presented to Forgacs last month at the 2b AHEAD ThinkTank's Future Congress in Wolfsburg, Germany, is the most recent in a long line of honors.

Sponsored by Volkswagen subsidiary AutoVision, this reward had previously gone to the inventors of the Internet video chat service Skype, the inventor of the MP3 player, and Nintendo, for the development of the Wii remote control.

"You opened the door for the future of medicine with your vision," the think tank wrote. "One day, your idea may be the basis to let the ancient human dream of the prolongation of life become reality."

Leading a team of top regenerative medicine scientists from multiple universities, Forgacs developed biotech company Organovo's breakthrough organ 3D printing technology and also became the scientific founder of Organovo. He is the author of more than 150 peer reviewed journal articles and five books.

The San Diego-based company developed one of the world's first 3D bio printers that can create fully functional human tissues,including blood vessels, lung, liver and kidney tissues, nerve guides and cardiac sheets and patches.

Organovo's powerful NovoGen Bioprinting platform creates human tissues starting with any cell source. From disease models to tissue creation, bioprinting solves urged needs in biological research.

At the end of last year, Forgacs established a second biotech company, "Modern Meadow," which uses similar technology to create in-vitro meat and leather. at the TedMed 2011 conference he cooked up and ate meat engineered using a 3D bioprinting process in his lab. Forgacs argued that mass produced lab-grown meat could help to solve issues such as global hunger, pollution, energy use, animal rights.

"There is a lot of controversy around industrial meat and leather production. It is terribly unfriendly to the environment," he said. "This is a field where many organizations and environmentally conscious people are devoting time and money. It is the only company that I know of that is trying to do something like that."

If you are interested in bioprinting and how does it work, check out this infographic created by Oli Archibald (in collaboration with Organovo). It has everything from graphical descriptions of the bioprinting process as well as a timeline (Click for larger view):

 

Source: Clarkson.edu

 

Posted in 3D Printing Companies

 

 

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