Apr 27, 2017 | By Tess

In some exciting news for the bioprinting community, 3D Systems has announced a new partnership with Maryland-based biotechnology company United Therapeutics Corporation. The partnership, which comes in the form of a multi-year agreement, will seek to develop solid-organ scaffolds for human transplants through the combination of 3D printing technologies and regenerative medicine.

In an effort to advance the quickly growing field of bioprinting, 3D Systems will be working with United Therapeutics and Lung Biotechnology PBC, the latter’s organ manufacturing and transplantation subsidiary. The first stage of the collaboration will see the parties focusing on the development of 3D bioprinted lung scaffolds.

According to the companies, they will be developing a 3D bioprinting process wherein collagen and other “building block proteins” will be used as raw materials for the scaffolds, with Lung Biotechnology PBC in charge of “cellularizing” the bioprinted scaffolds to make them biocompatible and patient-specific. This will be achieved through a process of re-differentiating stem cells (transforming stem cells into different types of cells).

"Our partnership with 3D Systems is a major step forward in creating an unlimited supply of tolerable transplanted organs," commented Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Therapeutics. "By cellularizing scaffolds created with 3D Systems printers with a patient's own cells, there will no longer be a need for immunosuppression and a vastly greater number of patients can extend their enjoyment of life through organ transplantation."

The collaborative bioprinting initiative will be based out of 3D Systems’ new bioprinting lab in San Diego, California. There, the companies will work hard towards developing 3D bioprinted lung scaffolds and other solid-organ scaffolds. While there is no strict timeline for when we can expect to see the fruits of the project’s labor, the respective expertise of both 3D Systems and United Therapeutics certainly make for a promising start.

Dr. Rothblatt added: “Our Lung Biotechnology public benefit corporation is taking personal regenerative medicine to its highest level yet with this practical, economic solution to a major health care problem. Indeed, we expect one personalized organ transplant will avoid years of health care spending on palliative medical therapies.”

Through its collaboration with 3D Systems, United Therapeutics is confident it will be able to one day be able to offer its clients a virtually unlimited supply of transplantable human organs. "We believe bioprinting is a powerful opportunity and we are uniquely positioned with the broadest portfolio of technologies to partner with companies of the caliber of United Therapeutics to provide healthcare solutions of the future,” concluded Vyomesh Joshi, CEO of 3D Systems.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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