When it comes to 3D bioprinting, progress comes in increments. Most organizations that have been bioprinting human tissue have done so thus far for research and drug testing purposes, with the goal of eventually creating tissue or even entire organs that can be transplanted into human patients. Startup BIOLIFE4D, however, isn’t beating around the bush with their goal – they want to 3D print a human heart. A functioning, transplantable human heart. While some people doubt that can ever be done, BIOLIFE4D believes it can, and they want to be the ones to do it.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide – killing one in four men and one in three women while outpacing all forms of cancer combined,” said BIOLIFE4D CEO Steven Morris. “BIOLIFE4D is committed to transforming the treatment of heart disease, capitalizing on recent medical breakthroughs and optimizing a process that will ultimately give patients the gift of time.”

Visualization close-up of a patient blood sample, with cells to be converted to unspecialized adult induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) as part of the BIOLIFE4D bioprinting process

BIOLIFE4D has now filed a $50 million initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Regulation A+ rules, meaning that everyday investors can help the company bring their cardiac tissue regeneration and organ replacement technology to the market. The company plans to use the money from the offering to boost working capital and fund corporate initiatives such as hiring additional employees, procuring laboratory space, and developing and licensing related technology.

“We’re very excited to have begun our efforts to provide a solution for so many people worldwide affected by advanced heart disease,” Morris told 3DPrint.com.

“For some, bioprinting an organ sounds like science fiction. Less than a decade ago, we could not have imagined the medical capability we now have in hand. Today, much of the fundamental science and technology now exists to create the bioprinting process we envision.”

BIOLIFE4D plans to use a combination of recent breakthroughs in 3D printing, regenerative medicine, stem cell biology and computing techniques to create patient-specific replacement hearts from the patient’s own cells, eliminating both long waiting lists and risks of rejection.

Visualization of the bio-ink to be used in the BIOLIFE4D bioprinting process.

“BIOLIFE4D is less focused on new invention, and more on optimizing a commercially viable process around the amazing things that have already been invented,” Morris told us. “This is something that will benefit the masses, and we want the masses to be able to participate. An equity crowdfunding raise will enable us to do that.”

Under the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, companies can raise up to $50 million in equity from investors, including non-accredited investors, according to Reg A+ rules. Previously, companies had been limited to raising $5 million under Regulation A rules. The crowdfunding industry today exceeds $34 billion globally, and today’s business culture is a supportive one for startups.

Much progress has been made in cardiac bioprinting lately, from 3D printed heart patches to entire 3D printed artificial, beating hearts. Researchers have done just about everything except creating a real, transplantable 3D printed heart, and BIOLIFE4D wants to put all the pieces together to do so. If you’re interested in investing in BIOLIFE4D, you can find out more here.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts below.

[Images provided by BIOLIFE4D]

 

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