May 1, 2017 | By Tess

3D bioprinting company Organovo Holdings, Inc. has announced a new collaboration with the University of Virginia through which it will seek to develop 3D bioprinted tissues for treating volumetric muscle loss (VML) injuries. The research, which will utilize Organovo’s 3D bioprinting technology, will be conducted in the laboratory of biomedical engineering and orthopaedic surgery professor George J. Christ.

Volumetric muscle loss, which the UVA research will be focused on treating, is a serious clinical problem that can be caused by a number of things, including trauma and life-saving surgery, or congenital and acquired diseases. In short, a VML injury damages the patient’s muscles to the point where their natural ability to regenerate and grow is permanently hindered. Current treatments for VML injuries are often intensive (from a surgical perspective) and have poor cosmetic outcomes.

The 3D bioprinting research being undertaken by the University of Virginia researchers is therefore trying to offer advanced treatment alternatives for VML sufferers. As Dr. Christ explained, “Current treatment for volumetric muscle loss injury is limited to surgical transfers of the patient’s muscle from a healthy site to the injured site. However, these treatments are associated with poor engraftment of the transferred muscle and can cause death of tissue at the healthy site.”

“We believe with the use of Organovo’s 3D bioprinting technology we could quickly develop a more complex and physiologically relevant bioengineered muscle prototype for preclinical testing. Accomplishing this goal would be a huge step in accelerating the therapeutic applications of bioprinted muscle tissues and providing a much needed treatment to those suffering from volumetric muscle loss,” he continued.

Dr. Christ’s laboratory, a part of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, has already conducted extensive research on regeneration and biomaterials. The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, for those unfamiliar, is a consortium that consists of the UVA as well as almost one-hundred other partners from the biomedical industry, government, academia, and non-profit sector. By collaborating with Organovo and adopting its bioprinting technology, the consortium will seek to advance its bioprinting-related research and find ways to create human tissues and organs.

Professor George J. Christ

Eric David, chief strategy officer and executive vice president of preclinical development at Organovo, commented on the collaboration, saying: “Collaborations that bring together Organovo’s 3D bioprinting platform and top-notch research serve as a catalyst for the development of innovative treatments that meet critical unmet needs. Combining the expertise in muscle regeneration of Dr. Christ’s lab and University of Virginia with Organovo’s expertise in constructing human tissues is an important step towards helping patients and families who have been calling for solutions in volumetric muscle loss.”

Organovo also recently partnered with the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia to help develop an architecturally correct 3D bioprinted kidney that could have therapeutic applications. The San Diego-based company is also known for developing a range of different 3D printed tissue services, including ExVive Human Kidney, and a 3D bioprinted human liver tissue.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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