3D-printer: Organovo to manufacture liver tissues

    2012/03/22

NSFW    San Diego-based company Organovo has developed a bio-printer that can make strips of liver tissue that could be used to test new drugs before they are administered to humans.

One of the printer's two syringes is filled with spheroids containing parenchymal liver cells, which are used in assessing the potential toxicity or efficacy of drugs.

The second syringe contains bio-ink with non-parenchymal liver cells, which bolster cellular development, and a hydrogel that helps with extrusion.

A computer connected to the printer instructs a robotic arm that moves the syringe to print a mold in a honeycomb pattern.

A small sensor then determines the placement of the first syringe based on the given coordinates, then parenchymal cells are added to the well plate's mold.

After the different cells are mixed, the well plate is placed into an incubator where they continue fusing until they eventually form the complex matrix of a liver tissue."

According to Organovo's website, the ultimate goal is to develop living, multicellular human tissues that can be maintained in laboratories for both functional and histological changes in response to injury, pathogens, or treatments.
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