Medical applications of bioprinting are gaining steam as of late. One hot-button field within the field is stem cells for tissue replacement. While a number of researchers have shown progress in recent years, a viable option has not come to the market. That is, until now. BIOLIFE4D is attempting to make heart transplants far more feasible but currently require funding.
The company is currently looking to raise $50 million. As of now, they have has launched a Regulation A+ (Mini-IPO) following the validation of its Form 1-A offering circular by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of this offering they can bring in investors who can potentially help bring the process to market.
The company is now offering 5,000,000 shares of its securities to the public at $10 USD each. The minimum share investment is 25 ($250). They are also offering to let any investors who donate above $100,000 be present for the first operation. The company estimates that heart transplants could enable them to save 600,000 lives yearly in the US alone.
“Today is a milestone day for BIOLIFE4D, as we open our Regulation A+ offering to enable investment not only in our company, but in the future of heart transplant treatment and technology. We have already received tremendous interest and we are excited to welcome investors that are passionate about making a difference in the lives of so many,” said Steven Morris, CEO, BIOLIFE4D. “Heart disease is the cause of one in every four deaths in the United States, and it’s time for that to change. We have assembled an incomparable team of scientific and medical advisors that are leading the development of our revolutionary technology. Starting today, we hope you’ll join us in giving the greatest gift you can give – the gift of time.”
Stem Cell Bioprinting
Stem cell research has long been seen as a controversial field of research. In this case however, it is fundamental to the efforts of BIOLIFE4D. While many successful transplants have been conducted in the past without the use of stem cells, the success is often short-lived due to rejection of the muscle tissue by the new host body. It is incredibly rare to have a heart match between the patient and the donor. Especially considering how rare hearts can be to obtain.
Stem cells can fix this problem by creating tissue matter that is fully compatible with each specific patient. Additionally, the company will be able to cut down the wait time of each potential heart recipient. Currently, many patients have to wait for over a year till they have a viable donor.
Like most bioprinting, the company uses bioinks for heart tissue. The “bio-ink” is made of the specialized heart cells combined with nutrients and other materials that will help the cells survive the bioprinting process. The produce it by feeding a bioprinter with measurements from an MRI scan. MRI. After printing, the heart needs time in a bioreactor, conditioned to make it stronger and readied for patient transplant.