Jan 25, 2017 | By Tess

San Diego-based 3D bioprinting company Organovo Holdings, Inc. has announced that it will be collaborating with Professor Melissa Little and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The parties have come together to develop an architecturally correct kidney that could be used in therapeutic applications. Like many of Organovo’s other collaborations (with UCSF and Yale, for instance), the collaboration is being funded by the Methuselah Foundation as part of its ongoing University 3D Bioprinter Program.

If you’re not already familiar with Organovo, it is one of the leading companies in the field of 3D bioprinting technologies. Through various collaborations with pharmaceutical, academic, and research partners, it has developed and is currently developing some truly innovative bioprinted products. In October, the company announced it would begin work on a 3D bioprinted human liver for direct transplant, news which came shortly after the company launched its second 3D bioprinted tissue service, the ExVive Human Kidney (which itself followed the first, its ExVive Human Liver tissue service).

Now, through the collaboration with Professor Melissa Little, Theme Director of Cell Biology at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Organovo will seek to develop a 3D bioprinted, architecturally correct kidney that could be used for a number of purposes, including drug screening processes, modeling disease, and ultimately regenerative medicine.

As Professor Little explains, “We have developed an approach for recreating human kidney tissue from stem cells. Using Organovo’s bioprinter will give us the opportunity to bioprint these cells into a more accurate model of the kidney. While initially important for modelling disease and screening drugs, we hope that this is also the first step towards regenerative medicine for kidney disease.”

Professor Melissa Little

The Methuselah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and advancing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, has provided at least $500,000 in direct funding to research projects that utilize Organovo’s bioprinting technologies. While the amount given to Professor Little’s lab is unclear, the funding provided by Methuselah is meant to cover “budgeted bioprinter costs and key aspects of project execution.” The recent collaboration, made possible by Methuselah, will mark the first Organovo bioprinter in the southern hemisphere.

Organovo CEO Keith Murphy also commented on the collaboration, saying: “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 Professor Little’s lab is another important step in this direction. With the devoted and ongoing support of the Methuselah Foundation, leading researchers are able to leverage Organovo’s powerful technology platform to achieve significant breakthroughs.”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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