Bioprinting is not a new concept – in fact, it’s almost old news, and we’re just waiting for something to happen. Ducks have been saved, baby tracheas have been printed, so when are we going to really see the effects on us?
Well, Organovo has made an innovation that will change the timeline pharmaceutical drugs must pass in order to get over the counter to consumers. Whereas before, testing drugs was expensive because there was nothing to test them on or the liver cell models used to test drugs would only last about five days. Using 3D printing technology, Organovo has lengthened that life span 800% to 40 days. This means tests to determine drug effectiveness will take fewer resources to test (that means saved money for manufacturers and consumers alike), the tests will be that much more efficient, and they will take that much less time before they can move to the market. So the drugs that alleviate pains and save lives will be cheaper and get to us quicker.
How has Organovo made this stride for mankind? It has come up with a way to synthesize enough cells together that make up a 3D model of a liver that will launch next year and sell to pharmaceutical companies for toxicology testing in R&D.
Bioprinting is big – Luxe Research predicts that by 2025 it will be a $1.9 billion industry, so invest while it’s affordable.