Jun 2, 2016 | By Alec

Bio-Ink for 3D printing, Illustration

A new competitor has just joined the race to develop the first transplantable 3D bioprinted tissues and organs. Numerous research teams throughout the world are already working on this revolutionary 3D printing application using a variety of bio-inks and bioprinting techniques, and Israeli company CollPlant will now attempt to do the same with their proprietary plant-based rhCollagen technology. These efforts are now backed by a NIS 5.6 million (about 1.4 million USD) research grant from Israel's Ministry of Economy.

While many other 3D bioprinting research initiatives are academic in nature, CollPlant is actually an established specialist in clinical-stage regenerative medicine. The Israeli company has received critical acclaim for its advanced wound care solutions based around their recombinant human collagen(rhCollagen) platform. This collagen material is identical to the collagen found in the human body, and therefore significantly reduces the change of an immune response. It has been previously used for soft tissue repair matrix, wound filler and bone void filler materials.

But the ambitious company is all too aware of 3D bioprinting opportunities, and has been working on a custom rhCollagen platform for some time. Last year, they already received a NIS 4.7 million grant from the Israeli Ministry of Economy’s Chief Scientist, and that grant is now thus followed by an additional sum of NIS 5.6 million. This latest grant covers about half of the expected 2016 project costs, which are expected to reach NIS 12 million (about $3.1 million USD).

Through these grants, the Israeli government is thus approving the development of collagen-based bio-ink for 3D bioprinted tissue and organ structures. Also funded through these grants is a new product that is intended to treat tears in tendons and ligaments. The often-damaged Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in the knee joint is one of the main targets of this new product. The company’s Vergenix™STR, which heals tendon inflammation, will also be supported through the grant. That product is expected to be authorized within a few months.

While the company has not yet commented on their specific 3D bioprinting plans and agenda, it is expected that their custom rhCollagen solution will take several years to realize. CollPlant stated that their researchers have already chemically modified the material’s gelling behavior to make it suitable for 3D printing. “Instead of gelling like unmodified collagen, the BioInk remains fluid during printing. Once the BioInk is irradiated with UV light, it cross-links and cures to form hydrogel. The rheological properties of our rhCollagen-based Bio-Ink enable the printing of 3D constructs with controlled physical and biological properties,” they explain.

According to the company’s chief executive officer Yehiel Tal, this research grant shows the government’s trust in the company’s progress. “We are delighted to receive the Chief Scientist's authorization for funding of CollPlant's development programs. The Chief Scientist's support over the years is an expression of his trust in the commercial potential of the Company's products,” he said. “CollPlant is also working diligently to expand its pipeline products through the development of innovative new products addressing significant market needs, and which will contribute meaningfully to the value of the company.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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