Israeli bioprinting company CollPlant has just announced that it has successfully produced the first 3D bioprinted implant prototypes for breast tissue regeneration. The bioprinted breast implants, which have been in development for some time, could offer a safer, patient-specific alternative for breast implantations down the line.
CollPlant’s development of breast tissue implants has remained under wraps until today, but we now have the first details on how the bioprinting initiative is going. According to the Rehovot-based biotech company, the implants are primarily comprised of its proprietary type I recombinant human collagen material—rhCollagen—and are designed to be loaded with patient-derived fat cells.
The idea behind the tissue regeneration implants is that the fat cells will grow and thrive when they are embedded in the bioprinted scaffold. Once the breast implant has been placed inside the patient’s body, the scaffold is designed to degrade, resulting in a natural breast implant that is made up entirely of the patient’s own tissue cells.
“The implants we are developing leverage our 3D bioprinting technology and the unique properties of our recombinant human collagen, that has an excellent safety profile,” explained CollPlant CEO, Yehiel Tal. “We believe that our technology can eliminate the high risk for adverse events associated with permanent breast implants and provide a revolutionary alternative. This technology is already raising interest from leading companies in this segment.”
Presently, breast implant surgery mainly relies on implanting a prosthesis made of silicone gel or other artificial fillers into the patient’s chest. This approach, though popular, comes with its fair share of rejection risks. An alternative method, lipofilling, injects tissues derived from the patient to reconstruct breasts, but it also presents its own limitations in terms of size and shape.
The ability to bioprint a breast implant made from the patient’s own cells could therefore be a game-changer for breast cancer reconstruction and breast enhancement surgery, as it would eliminate the risk of rejection and could be tailored to the patient’s needs or wishes.