Feb 3, 2016 | By Benedict
Cyfuse Biomedical has been carving out its reputation as a biomedical innovator for a few years now, with its one-of-a-kind Regenova 3D printer ranking highly in our rundown of the Top 20 3D Bioprinters last year. Unlike most 3D bioprinters currently used for research purposes, the Regenova does not make use of scaffolds and fluids to ensure the correct placement of each cell. Instead, the Cyfuse Medical 3D printer uses an array of needles on which aggregates of cells called “spheroids” are skewered into their required position, like microscopic pieces of meat on tiny upright kebabs. These cells begin to interact organically and, once fully self-organized, can be freed from their needle supports, leaving a complete section of tissue. This technique has been labelled the Kenzan Method, “Kenzan” meaning “needle array” in Japanese.
According to Cyfuse Biomedical, the Kenzan Method offers notable advantage over other 3D bioprinting techniques, reducing cell damage and increasing viability. Its “much gentler approach” eliminates high-velocity liquid flow, which can damage cells and yield low cell numbers. Thanks to the elimination of this factor, the technique is suitable even for the most delicate primary cells, which are often of the highest physiological relevance.
The 3D bioprinting technique, which used needles made of stainless steel with a diameter of 100-200 micrometers and pitch of 300-400 micrometers, is able to sculpt biological patterns within a range of ~10x10x10mm at 500um resolution. Printed tissues are then able to be fused together to create larger constructs. Each tissue is precisely designed using the Regenova-specific “B3D” 3D design software, which allows users to manipulate the patterns of “spheroids” in a precise, controlled manner.
Cyfuse Biomedical and Cell Applications, a provider of primary cells, has until now been offering its services exclusively within Japan, but today announced the immediate availability of the Kenzan Method in North America through a pay-per-service bioprinting model. The two companies will offer their unique bioprinting services to scientists in both the US and Canada for research use. Cell Applications will offer more than one hundred types of human and animal primary cells, with nearly 900 possible configurations, to its North American customers, with additional cell types also offered through the company’s custom services program.
"In addition to customized cell isolation and assay services, Cell Applications is now able to provide researchers with an integrated cell-engineering solution that utilizes our expansive primary cell bank and the innovative Kenzan bioprinting method," said James Yu, Founder and CEO of Cell Applications. "Having the Regenova 3D Bio Printer at our San Diego headquarters with our vast array of primary cells is a powerful combination. We're very pleased to offer researchers an end-to-end, customized solution for creating scaffold-free, 3D engineered tissues that reduce costs by minimizing the lengthy processes typical in pharmaceutical drug discovery."
"The Regenova 3D Bio Printer, combined with Cell Applications' comprehensive, high-quality primary cell bank, offers researchers streamlined access to a nearly limitless selection of three dimensional tissues including those mimicking blood vessels, human neural tissue and liver constructs," added Koji Kuchiishi, CEO of Cyfuse Biomedical. "The collective strengths of both our companies will serve the growing demand for viable engineered tissues and accelerate scientific discovery in North America, taking us one step closer to making regenerative medicine a reality.”
The Kenzan Method has already been used by researchers to create blood vessels, nerve, and functional liver-like tissues, but its creators foresee it being used for further 3D printed organic structures such as cardiac muscle and pancreatic islets, as well as spinal cord, urologic, trachea, skin and digestive tissues for regenerative medicine research. A successful implementation of the Kenzan Method in the US and Canada could bring researchers one step closer to creating fully bioprinted human organs—As well as propelling the Regenova 3D bioprinter further up our Top 20 3D Bioprinters chart.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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