3D printing has so many lifesaving and life-changing applications in the medical field that we could write almost exclusively about its healthcare potential and never run out of material. 3D printed prosthetics are a major breakthrough, allowing more people than ever before to have access to effective, custom-fit devices, and 3D printed organ models have enabled surgeons to succeed with dangerous, complicated surgical procedures that may have turned out much less favorably otherwise. But 3D printing’s greatest potential for lifesaving medicine may still be yet to come.
Bioprinting is a much-talked-about new technology, but one that is still very much in development. We’ve yet to see a fully functional, transplantable human organ, which is the ultimate goal for many organizations working in the field. Few seem to doubt that we’ll get to that point, however – maybe sooner than expected. In the meantime, 3D printed tissue has been playing an important role in research, pharmaceutical testing, and regenerative medicine.
A new, advanced bioprinting laboratory is scheduled to open next year in Europe, the product of a collaboration between the University of Cyprus, NextGene Biosystem, Amur State Medical Academy, and IQDEMY SA Holding. The laboratory will be dedicated to research on tissue engineering through 3D printing for disease treatment.
IQDEMY SA’s subsidiary IQ ARTISIA has been working with leading tissue engineering company NextGene Biosystem to develop a bioprinter that 3D prints a sort of artificial skin that can be used to treat burns and other severe skin injuries. The development of the laboratory itself has been in the works for a while, beginning with joint research between NextGene Biosystem and IQDEMY CHEMISTRY at the latter’s labs in Novosibirsk, Russia, in the area known as Silicon Forest, a hub for several companies in the IT, pharmaceutical, metallurgical and fossil fuels industries.
The motivation for the new bioprinting lab was also spurred by the Biointerfaces International Conference, which took place in Switzerland in August. Dr. George Güttinger, an expert in the field, emphasized the need for a dedicated bioprinting facility in Europe, leading to a meeting between IQDEMY SA’s President, Dr. Vladislav Mirchev, and Development Director, Olga Kondratieva, along with the Head of the University of Cyprus.
The meeting was organized by ARTISIA IQJET’s auditing company, KPMG, and let to an agreement between ARTISIA IQJET and the University of Cyprus to jointly invest in the new lab. Not many details have been revealed yet, such as the exact location of the lab or the exact date it’s supposed to open, but it is projected to open sometime during 2017 – presumably with IQDEMY and NextGene’s completed bioprinter on hand.
The project team is confident that the new laboratory will be the site of some major breakthroughs in the bioprinting sphere. We look forward to learning more details, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as this ambitious new project gets underway. Discuss in the Bioprinting Lab forum at 3DPB.com.