CELLINK entered a collaborative research agreement with Professor Robert S. Langer’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The lab is recognized as the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world with over 100 researchers. The collaboration is initially a one-year collaboration involving several different research projects.
The first project is aiming to create a 3D bioprinted biomimetic heart valve with correct mechanical properties achieved through elastic polymers and hydrogels and resident cell-populations. The goal is to combine CELLINK’s technology platform and the Langer lab’s researchers to produce a prototype that in the future could be tested in an in-vivo sheep-model. In the US alone, over 100,000 valve replacement surgeries are made per year. This project could provide a novel solution where CELLINK’s technology would be a critical element for the success of future heart valve replacements.
Another project is addressing the growing issue of diabetes. Solely in the US 30 million people currently have diabetes. One strategy to help this patient base is to replace their pancreas with modified autologous or allogeneic insulin-producing cells which would eliminate the need for frequent insulin injections. The difficulty has been to create implants that survive in-vivo. In this project, bioprinting will be used to try a new approach where the hope is to gain higher survival rates of cells as well as higher insulin production.
In both these projects, CELLINK will be the technology provider as well as a provider of expertise within bioprinting technology, the research collaboration will hopefully lead to verified technology and advances in the respective research fields.
CELLINK has created one of the world’s first universal Bioinks, today used by many of the world’s most well-reputed research institutions. A Bioink can be mixed with living cells to print functional human tissues and if future research is successful, eventually, complete human organs in so-called 3D-Bioprinters. CELLINK’s universal Bioink shows excellent results and can be used in both CELLINK’s proprietary 3D Bioprinters and in 3D Bioprinters developed by other operators.