Prellis Biologics, Inc. is hoping to make the bioprinting process more accessible in order to accelerate research in the field of human tissue engineering. As part of this effort, the company has developed TissueWorkshop, an easy-to-use web-based interface designed for biologists and tissue engineers. The program, which can reportedly be learned in minutes, enables users to generate libraries of vascular-inspired 3D scaffolds based on user input.
The tools built in to TissueWorkshop were reportedly derived from video game development and 3D animation. The approach, developed by Gavan Wilhite, Founder of AltspaceVR, makes it more intuitive to create bioprintable scaffolds for research purposes.
“The gaming industry has poured tremendous resources into tools that are often unfamiliar to those outside the sector,” said Wilhite. “It’s a special joy to use them to accelerate the positive impact that tissue engineering has to offer.”
From Prellis’ perspective, the software will streamline the bioprinting process significantly, reducing the amount of time spent designing 3D scaffolds in CAD programs.
As Melanie Matheu, PhD, CEO of Prellis Biologics, said: “Every day I saw my expert team toiling away designing CAD files by hand. The time it took to design a single file is prohibitive for us to quickly answer relevant 3D tissue engineering questions. We had to move the bar on iteration time. We’re the first team in the world that can begin to ask the question of which high-resolution scaffold is best for building a liver or piece of cartilage. I didn’t want my team spending decades of human-powered design time to do so.”
TissueWorkshop consists of an intuitive design system that enables users without extensive CAD knowledge to create CAD files compatible with bioprinters with resolutions of 50 and 100 microns, including CELLINK’s BIO X6. The software can also be used to build bio-structures at 1-micron resolution using the Holograph-X system developed by CELLINK and Prellis Biologics.
“Finding the best architecture has been incredibly challenging due to the inability to scan potential 3D structures in an unbiased way with available CAD programs,” said Erin Stephens, PhD, Director of Tissue Engineering at Prellis.”It would simply take too long.”
At this stage, Prellis Biologics has released 10 tissue scaffolds created in TissueWorkshop, which can be 3D printed on 100 micron resolution 3D printers. The test structures can be downloaded on the Prellis Biologics website. An open beta version of the TissueWorkshop platform will be released on January 15, 2020.