At the 2013 Experimental Biology conference in Boston, Organovo, a company specialised in bioprinting presented the first fully cellular 3D bioprinted liver tissue.
“We have achieved excellent function in a fully cellular 3D human liver tissue. With Organovo’s 3D bioprinted liver tissues, we have demonstrated the power of bioprinting to create functional human tissue that replicates human biology better than what has come before. Not only can these tissues be a first step towards larger 3D liver, laboratory tests with these samples have the potential to be game changing for medical research. We believe these models will prove superior in their ability to provide predictive data for drug discovery and development, better than animal models or current cell models,” said Keith Murphy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Organovo.
Key research features
Organovo managed to combine three key features that set their 3D tissues apart from 2D cell-culture models.
1. The tissues are not a monolayer of cells (approximately 20 cell layers thick)
2. The multi-cellular tissues closely reproduce the distinct cellular patterns found in native tissue.
3. The Organovo tissues are highly cellular, comprised of cells and the proteins those cells produce, without dependence on biomaterials or scaffold for 3-dimensionality. As Dr. Sharon Presnell, CTO and VP of R&D stated: “They actually look and feel like living tissue”.