Allevi Partners with Xylyx Bio to Create Liver Specific Bioinks

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More than 500 vital functions have been identified with the liver, ranging from filtering blood to enzyme activation. For researchers, 3D bioprinting tissue structures with bioinks created specifically for the liver hold a great advantage and gets them closer to simulating the complexity of the organ. Only a handful of researchers and companies around the world are tackling liver-specific bioinks, and one of them is now Allevi. The Philadelphia-based biotech company has now partnered with Xylyx Bio, a pioneer in physiomimetic biomaterials, to introduce new tissue-specific bioinks with Decellularized Extracellular Matrix (dECM). Starting with the liver, they will seek to recapitulate the native tissue microenvironment in 3D bioprinting.
Already available at Allevi’s online shop for $980, the Allevi Liver dECM, powered by Xylyx Bio’s TissueSpec® ECM, will enable users to create tissue-like structures that maximally recapitulate natural tissue characteristics allowing further study into the physiologic activity of cells in vitro for a better understanding of disease and the development of more effective drugs and treatments. The new bioink will help scientists struggling with more traditional cell culture substrates so that by using the new dECM, which harnesses extracellular matrices to recreate the native tissue environment, they can get more accurate results.
According to Allevi, “liver tissue function is determined by the interaction of cells with their microenvironment, namely through the interpretation of biochemical and mechanical signals present in its tissue-specific extracellular matrix.” Thereby, mimicking the micro and macro geometry of liver constructs, as well as the composition of proteins present in liver ECM, are key components to successfully recapitulate native tissue function.

The Allevi Liver dECM promises the fabrication of liver tissue that has a more representative physiological function. The product uses a combination of a type I collagen Allevi bioink for patterning as well as Xylyx Bio’s highly desired liver-specific TissueSpec® ECM to enhance specialized biological response.

Xylyx Bio products for cell culture are obtained from porcine or human tissue sources and processed to various formats, enabling cell culture models that are significantly more predictive of physiology. Their 3D TissueSpec® ECM hydrogels and scaffolds provide support to cell culture models, facilitating the acceleration of drug discovery, development and tissue regeneration.

Tissue Spec Liver ECM supported 3D structure formation of primary human hepatocytes and HepG2 cells

“We are thrilled to partner with Allevi and share our expertise in tissue-specific ECM,” stated Andrea Nye, Chief Executive Officer at Xylyx Bio. “Recognizing the importance of the native cellular microenvironment, Xylyx Bio harnesses the body’s innate biology in the form of tissue-specific extracellular matrix. By sourcing extracellular matrix from native organs and tissues, Xylyx produces tissue-specific substrates that comprise both the mechanical properties and complex ratios of ECM components specific and unique to each tissue and organ type.”

Founded in 2014, Allevi claims that its “mission is to provide users the ability to design, engineer, and manufacture 3D tissue.” To deliver important building blocks and provide users with the best experience possible to drive new scientific discoveries, Allevi is hopeful that the new dECM bioink will provide scientists a revolutionary approach that allows scientists to print 3D tissue structures with biochemical and mechanical features inherent in human physiology.

Xylyx Bio’s Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, John O’Neil, added that a “deeper understanding of the comprehensive nature of tissues and cells and their interaction with the cellular microenvironment – that is, the extracellular matrix – holds great promise to lead to a paradigm shift in 3D bioprinting, allowing researchers to study physiologic activity of cells in vitro towards a better understanding of disease and development of more effective drugs and treatments.”

[Images: Allevi and Xylyx Bio]

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