3D printing, sometimes called “additive manufacturing” is a way of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The limitations of what can be printed are seemingly only limited by the complexity of the design.
Bioprinting is another application, and is making forays into the biopharma industry. Most industrial applications use carbon fiber as a source material for 3D printing, but there are examples of 3D printing using biological source materials to create biologically-active or interactive materials.
On June 19, Poietis, a Pessac, France-based company, along with Prometheus, a division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering at Leuven, Belgium, announced they had entered into a two-year Collaborative Research Agreement to develop high-precision 3D Bioprinting of tissue engineered Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products (ATMPs) for skeletal regeneration.
Prometheus focuses on tissue-engineered ATMPs with a focus on skeletal regeneration. Poietis is interested in using 3D bioprinting of single cell suspensions into large, patterned tissue structured, especially “the laser-assisted bioprinting of multicellular micro-aggregates embedded in ‘bioinks’ for the formation of layered cellular structures.”
What this comes down to is a collaboration to “print” bone that can be used in transplants or other orthopedic, musculoskeletal or spine-related applications.