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Becoming into IQMED as a Healthtech startup and our journey

3D bioprinting has quickly become one of the leading segments
of the 3D printing industry in terms of innovation. Until recently,
the market was focused primarily on North America, however,
many companies, laboratories and universities around the world
are exploring this field too. Thanks to 3D printing-like techniques,
cells and biomaterials can be combined and deposited layer by
layer to create biomedical parts that have the same properties as
natural tissues. During this process, it’s various bioinks that can
be used to create these

tissue-like structures, which have applications in medical and tissue
engineering fields. Of course, many know that the biggest endeavour
of this field is to successfully bioprint a fully functional human organ.
While this technology is considered to be the future of medicine,
there are still many unknowns attached to this printing process.
Below, we will explore this topic and some of the recurring
questions people have about bioprinting. In addition, we will also
explore the different printing processes associated with this

It’s a known fact that demand for transplants continues to rise every year.
In the United-States alone it’s 113,000 people that were on the transplant
waiting list in 2019. Given that each year the number of people on the
waiting list continues to be much larger than both the number of donors
and transplants, the solution seems to be pointing to 3D bioprinting.
As a matter of fact, an important breakthrough marked the medical field
back in April. A team of researchers from Tel-Aviv University (TAU)
successfully 3D printed a heart using human cells. This heart completely
matched the immunological, cellular and anatomical properties of a human
patient. Even though it consisted of the size of a rabbit’s heart, its
complexity was a complete first: “People have managed to 3D-print the
structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels.
Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering
personalised tissue and organ replacement in the future,” explained Prof.
Tal Dvir who led the research on this study.

As you will have understood 3D bioprinters can create complex cell structures
through a layering process. The technology was developed by scientists
in the hope of creating fully functional organs.

A team of researchers from Tel-Aviv University (TAU) successfully 3D printed a
heart using human cells The Beginnings of 3D Bioprinting 3D bioprinting dates
back to 1988, when Dr. Robert J. Klebe of the University of Texas presented his
cytoscribing process. A method of micropositioning cells in order to construct
two and three-dimensional synthetic fabrics using a common inkjet printer. In
2002, Professor Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University created the first organ
using bioprinting: a small-scale kidney. To continue to foster more innovations
in bioprinting, Organovo – the first commercial laboratory – arrived in 2010 in
SanDiego, California. The lab quickly began working with Invetech developers
to create one of the first bioprinters on the market, the NovoGen MMX.
Organovo has positioned itself as one of the leaders in the industry, they continue
to work on developing bone tissue breakthroughs, such as when they created the
hepatic transplantation tissue. Following the breakthrough from the team of
Tel-Aviv University researchers, BIOLIFE4D was also able to bioprint a miniature
human heart, making it the first company in the U.S. to achieve this. We expect

One of the biggest challenges is the high cost of development and lack of
knowledge. However, new techniques are beginning to emerge to increase the
chances of success and are divided into 5 different categories that we will be
exploring below.

This technology is based on the classic inkjet printing process. Today, 3D FDM
printers are being modified to achieve a similar printing process. This method
makes it possible to deposit droplets of bio-ink (also known as biomaterials or
biotins) layer-by-layer onto a hydrogel support or a culture plate.
This technology can be classified into thermal and piezoelectric methods,
both based on a form of biotin.

With thermal technology, it utilizes a heating system that creates air bubbles that
collapseand provide the pressure needed to eject the “ink” drops. In contrast
the piezoelectric technology does not use heat to create

the needed pressure. Instead, it uses an electric charge that accumulates in
certain solid materials. In this case, a polycrystalline piezoelectric ceramic is
present in each nozzle. A drawback with this last technology is that it can cause
damage to the cell membrane if it is used too often.

Scientists have made great strides in regards to the patterns of molecules,cells
and organs with inkjet printing. Molecules such as DNA have been successfully
duplicated, making it easier to study cancers and potential treatments. Cells that
help combat against breast cancer have also been successfully printed using
inkjet bioprinting; Retaining their functions, with good prospects for creating
living tissue structures or organs.

For Organovo, they rely on inkjet printing in order to create functional human
tissues. Specifically, they are interested in reproducing the tissues found in the
human liver. Their focus on this is in regards to the long waiting list for a liver
transplant in the US. What Organovo hopes to do is to fix the damaged part of
the liver, which would then provide a solution that would extend the life of the
organ until the patient is eligible for a transplant. A waiting game that can
sometimes take several years.

This method is based on the use of an extrusion to create 3D patterns and cellular
constructions. Using biomaterials for printing, the solution is then extruded by
coordinating the movement of a pressure-based piston or a microneedle over
a stationary substrate. Printing consists of the printing of the model layer-by-layer,
constructing itself together until the model is completed. The advantages that we
find with this technology includes the ambient temperature process, direct cell
incorporation and homogenous cell distribution. Some of the most popular
bioprinters, such as the Bioplotter and the EnvisionTec, use this technique as it is
considered to be the evolution from the inkjet bioprinting process.

Laser Assisted Bioprinting
This method uses laser as an energy source to deposit the biomaterials into a
receptor. This technique consists of three parts: a laser source, a tape covered
with biological materials and a receptor. The laser beams irradiate the tape,
causing liquid biological materials to evaporate and reach the receptor in the
form of droplets. These droplets contain a biopolymer, which retains the
adhesion of the cells and helps the cell to begin growing. Compared to other
technologies, laser-assisted bioprinting has unique advantages. Some specific
advantages include it being a nozzle-free and contactless process that allows for
high-resolution cell printing and droplet control Of biotin.

The French leader in bioprinting, Poietis, has launched a hair reproduction
program in partnership with L’Oréal. The company uses the laser-assisted
bioprinting technology, allowing them to deposit the cells precisely into a
particular order. Today, the company is trying to recreate a hair follicle that
could prove to be an effective solution to for stimulating hair grow, a potential
alternative for men and women confronted with balding. Stereolithography
STL technology consists of solidifying a photopolymer using ultraviolet light.
It has the highest manufacturing accuracy and is suitable for bioprinting as it
prints with hydrogels that are sensitive to light. This technology is
still currently under development because there are still many limitations, such
as lack of biocompatibility and biodegradability of polymers, adverse effects,
and inability to the remove supports.


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