Though best known for its commercial 3D printers, Dutch company FELIXprinters is also dedicated to working with partners and clients to develop custom additive manufacturing solutions. According to the company, it is working on a number of R&D projects in the food 3D printing sphere, as well as on a number of other projects that can be seen as unconventional for a desktop 3D printer manufacturer. One particular project that stands out is FELIXprinters’ participation in the EU-backed “training4crm” project.
The Europe-wide training4crm project has overall the aim of creating an array of stem cells that can be applied to any cell. The first focus area to be targeted in the project is aimed at finding a viable treatment for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders by replacing affected brain cells with healthy ones. If this first application proves successful, the technology could one day be used to replace any type of cell.
The ambitious project brings together a consortium of partners from academia and industry. Netherlands-based FELIXprinters is one of three commercial partners (the other two are Biomodics and Verigraft), while universities from across Europe are involved. The project also brings on a team of 15 select researchers who will help advance the project and develop their own skills in the area.
As the training4crm website reads: “The Training4CRM ETN program will offer training in transferable skills and inter-disciplinary research training in micro- and nano-engineering, biotechnology and pre-clinical research at the highest international level and quality, delivering 15 highly skilled and motivated young researchers, that will be attractive and immediately employable in both the academic and industrial sector due to their highly sought after cross-/interdisciplinary insights and expertise.”
FELIXprinters’ role in the project is to develop and supply a 3D printing platform that is capable of creating the necessary cell arrays. As part of this, the company is tasked with developing a biofluid friendly extrusion system and a hybrid 3D printer that can print filaments and bioinks at the same time to integrate different material properties into a single scaffold structure. Researcher Hakan Gürbüz is representing FELIXprinters in the EU-backed project, helping to fabricate perfusable 3D hybrid scaffolds using the hybrid 3D printing technology.