Feb 9, 2016 | By Kira

French startup Poietis, founded in 2014 between L’INSERM (France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research) and the University of Bordeaux, is attracting international attention as it aims to become the first company in the world to 3D bioprint human skin using a proprietary laser-assisted 3D bioprinting technology. The company has already proven that its advanced 3D bioprinting system can 3D print living biological tissue using ultra high-precision lasers—a world first—and it is moving quickly to further develop and commercialize its 3D skin printing technology.

As Poietis founder and CEO Fabien Guillemot explains, the company’s proprietary laser-assisted 3D bioprinting technology, the result of over 10 years of research, has several key advantages over existing 3D bioprinting systems, including a much higher level of precision (up to 20 microns resolution), and the ability to ensure the cells’ viability within 95 to 100%.

“It involves depositing ‘ink’ containing a high concentration of cells, or the extracellular matrix, onto a glass surface,” explained Guillemot further in an interview. Along with founding Poietis, Guillemot holds a doctorate in materials science, and is a researcher at INSERM. “A blue laser beam is reflected by a mobile mirror controlled by computer. It passes through the glass, extracts micro-droplets at a rate of 10,000 per second and projects them where directed. The resolution is excellent: the jet has roughly the same diameter as a cell (around 20 microns). In addition, the process does not damage the cells.”

As the video below illustrates, the laser deposits microdroplets containing the living cells (mixed with an organic material such as collagen), one by one and layer by layer, to build up a 3D structure. Afterwards, the cells then begin to interact and self-organize into patterns predetermined by the CAD model and 3D laser printer, and within a few days, an epidermis begins to form.

Currently, Poietis is using two specially designed laser-assisted 3D bioprinters developed by l’INSERM and Alphanov Laboratory, but it is currently working on developing its dedicated 3D bioprinting machine.

The company’s main focus is to develop a 3D bioprinted skin model using adult stem cells and skin cells, as well as a cornea model, which will be used by pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies (chemical firm BASF has already signed a partnership deal). According to Guillemot, there is a high demand for artificial skin models that retain the physiological characteristics of human skin tissue, particularly as regulations on animal testing in the EU having gotten stricter and stricter since 2013.

By 2017, Poietis plans to market its 3D printed skin for drug and cosmetics testing, and within 10 years, 3D printed skin grafts made from patients’ own cells so as to ensure the body will not reject them. And while the race to develop functional, transplantable 3D printed organs is definitively on, Poietis has instead resolved to focus entirely on developing 3D printed skin, and nothing else. “We have ourselves a limit,” Guillemot said. “Our area is that of tissue repair, not tissue enhancement or improvement.”

As Poietis continues to develop its unique laser-assisted 3D bioprinting technology for 3D printing human skin, we will keep a close eye on this young yet promising French startup.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Muratet wrote at 2/21/2016 12:28:28 AM:

Il s'agit là de techniques d'avenir que les ophtalmologiste suivent avec grand intérêt !

alvaro wrote at 2/10/2016 1:14:13 PM:

Vive le Poiets! Vive Le France!

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