BiofabricationBioprintingEditorials

The dawn of a 3D biofabrication & biomanufacturing metaverse

To empower researchers, 3D biofabrication of cyborganic human-machine interfaces and blockchain technologies, advancing supply chains in the next industrial revolution

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Prior to all of the news surrounding Facebook’s metaverse rebrand and $10 billion investment into the metaverse, the CEO of Ourobionics John Zandbergen and the CEO of blockchain company Cartallum Wynand Oschmann were establishing a partnership in the Netherlands to initiate the development of the first global 3D Biofabrication & Biomanufacturing Metaverse.

This new network that they envisioned will use blockchain technology to directly reward researchers and developers in cryptocurrency for their designs, protocols, & inventions using any existing 3D biofabrication or biomanufacturing hardware, software, 3D model database, biomaterial database, or any open-sourced technology database. The start-ups have also developed a roadmap to work together with others and implement blockchain technology platform solutions for supply chain management in the 3D biofabrication & biomanufacturing industry, stimulating a more circular economy.

Prior to the release of the independent and decentralized blockchain platform technology solutions by 2022, they will have the ability to be connected to all files, databases, and other metaverse platform technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence systems, & gamification networks. The technologies will enable cryptocurrency & metaverse network rewards systems for all researchers and developers that want to open-source their designs, protocols, materials, data, technologies, & for publishing in open science journals.

A secondary blockchain system will be developed to repeatedly reward the original inventors and creators further if and when their open-sourced technologies, 3D files, protocols, data, or open science publications are used by a collaborator for extended research purposes or a start-up/scale-up for commercial purposes. This “3D Biofabrication and Biomanufacturing Metaverse” has the potential to spur innovation, unique collaborations, and stimulate potential future biotechnology start-up formation. The concept is inspired by how the RepRap project open-sourced low-cost 3D printers to the public domain and this ultimately led to what we see now in the majority of the desktop 3D printing & 3D bioprinting start-up industry. Basic extrusion 3D bioprinting was originally open-sourced in 2016 to allow others to build a bioprinter with a RepRap.

If the proposed scientific advances are made in open-sourced technology, 3D bioprinting, regenerative medicine, blockchain, cyborganics, human-machine interfaces, & metaverse technologies it will enhance the strong biotechnology and deep technology ecosystem that currently exists in Utrecht Science Park, Utrecht Region, and start-ups located in other parts of the Netherlands. It has the potential to connect, build, and reward at a global level. Upon hearing about the news, Tech Leap Envoy Prince Constantijn van Oranje, reacted enthusiastically: “This sounds like cutting edge technology development, supported by a solution to fairly rewarding innovators”.

Together with other start-ups in the industry, they hope that developing these types of independent & decentralized blockchain technology rewards systems interconnected with existing and emerging metaverse network technologies that will encourage academics, entrepreneurs, institutes, and industry professionals to publicly release and share more innovative open-sourced technologies, 3D designs, 3D biomaterials, cyborganics, organ on a chip, or regenerative medicine protocols and increase rewards for open science publications.

Companies in alliance with Ourobionics on the vision behind the need for the development of an open & global “3D Bioprinting & Biomanufacturing Metaverse” to enhance the fourth industrial revolution include the world’s first human 3D bioink and biomaterial company Humabiologics; an early stage biofabrication and biomanufacturing company InvicTech LLC (previously released microfluidic design NFTs); the open metaverse company Beemup paving the way forward in true metaverse interoperability, accessibility and economics, thereby directly providing new revenue models for businesses, brands and creators; and CadChain, a company that has released blockchain technology that provides an integrated and secure software to register authorship, and or ownership of design data, and trust certification for protection of CAD Files, thereby allowing engineers and designers to safely share their design data with stakeholders.

The blockchain and metaverse technologies that have been developed by CadChain and Beemup will be crucial for implementing and enhancing aspects needed for the 3d biofabrication and biomanufacturing metaverse. CadChain has made some very important steps in using blockchain technology to protect intellectual property. The start-ups will explore forming consortia in the NL, EU, and the USA for non-dilutive funding opportunities to advance the progress of the blockchain-driven 3D biofabrication and biomanufacturing metaverse. It will be important to ensure that the platforms are decentralized,  independent of any one company, allow for new forms of virtual & augmented reality collaborations, and directly reward original inventors, engineers, designers and researchers. These future technologies must be fully open to the public to ensure the future success and growth of the metaverse.

A 3D biofabrication & biomanufacturing metaverse to empower researchers and advancing 3D biofabrication supply chains

“After a decade developing new biofabrication technologies and biomaterials and the creation from the scratch of a new industry, now the focus is on getting scientific results and procedures that can lead to tissues that can be transferred to the specific applications. Any intention to connect the persons working in the field, reward the effort of them using crypto and blockchain and facilitating more resources to speed up the developments is crucial for the success of the field and the impact on the people´s quality of life” said José Manuel Baena, Ph.D. in biomedicine with 10 years of experience in 3D biofabrication.

This month a news article was published on the future role of neural interfaces in the metaverse. This directly coincides with the specific focus of the technologies under development at Ourobionics who were recently selected as “Deep Tech Pioneers” for 2021 out of 4,000 applications to the global deep technology organization Hello Tomorrow. Ourobionics are starting the process to raise seed funding alongside multiple funding applications to the Horizon Europe Program (budget of €95.5 billion) on the merging of their advanced 3D biofabrication and cyborganic technologies to create novel cyborganic & opti-genetic stem cell neural stimulation devices with electronically conductive nanomaterials, bioinks, and biomarker skin sensor technologies for the detection and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

The main goal of Ourobionics is to develop these advanced 3D biofabrication technologies and applications with the potential to transform the industry of regenerative medicine. Cyborganics itself was published as an emerging industry in 2019  spawned from 3D biofabrication & biomaterial technologies by the Chief Technology Officer of Ourobionics Dr. Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz. Any advancements made in cyberorganic biosensor and implantation devices could have future alternate uses when interconnected with blockchain technologies and the metaverse as it evolves in parallel with the human-machine interfacing technology industry.

One important factor to make this a success is the abundance of the metaverse, blockchain, augmented/virtual reality, A.I. platform technology, & 3D biofabrication or biomanufacturing resources and start-ups within this sector that surround Ourobionics, Cartallum, Beemup in Utrecht Science Park, and the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Utrecht also holds the title of gaming capital of Europe which is one component of a metaverse that can increase novel types of collaboration via augmented or virtual reality technologies. Such an interconnected Metaverse could also increase the number of start-ups that would operate in Utrecht and the Netherlands in all forms of 3D biomanufacturing from health to food, textiles, and biofuels.

The Netherlands ranks 3rd globally when combining world competitiveness rankings, world innovation rankings, human development index, and world happiness report. Utrecht was once voted the 4th happiest city in the world. It is also one of the most interconnected countries, ranked first in English proficiency and has the highest density of cycle lanes. All of which is important for international entrepreneurs within the 3d biofabrication and biomanufacturing & deep technology industries that need to build, connect, and grow outside of the metaverse.

The secondary component of this partnership will result in Cartallum being able to work with Ourobionics and others in the industry to further develop their own sustainable blockchain technology into a platform with the ability to track, trace, and secure all aspects of the supply chain from hardware, biomaterials, reagents, cells, & accessories to final applications in the 3D biofabrication, organ on a chip, regenerative medicine, in silico,  medical device, or future human-machine interface industries. Working together the companies can decentralize the 3D biofabrication supply chain and promote a more circular economy by refining the management of the entire supply chain.

These alternative supply chain systems have the potential to provide solutions to future supply chain disruptions whilst boosting a more circular and sustainable economy. The start-ups are realistic in what can be done in the near future but that it will be a long-term project with many combined efforts, milestones and deliverables. However, it is important to make a start now that all of the technologies are available and in alignment, as it is simply a matter of connecting the dots, releasing & connecting more platforms, whilst strengthening connections with those in the industry.

Overall a 3D biofabrication & biomanufacturing metaverse with novel supply chain solutions could potentially increase the level of global interdisciplinary collaborations, global technology sharing, rewarding of researchers & inventors, and enhance future start-up or academic spin-out formation. This is an important step for all sectors of deep technology and demonstrates the utility of metaverse and blockchain technologies outside of the hype.

By 2023 the plan of the start-ups is to expand this roadmap into all sectors that require the use of 3D biofabrication and biomanufacturing technology in food, textiles, biofuels etc. This is one step on the roadmap originally set out by Ourobionics in early 2021 to take the industry beyond bioprinting & empower all researchers and developers at a global level.

Additional Information

The blockchain platform technologies under development by Cartallum for the “3D Biofabrication and Biomanufacturing Metaverse” will be tested and connected with other metaverse technologies such as augmented reality (like what is seen here with the hololens), artificial intelligence, & social network or gamification systems creating a new evolution in 3D biofabrication and biomanufacturing collaboration and networking rewards. Platform technology solutions like the will be used to tag digital files (like NFTs) that can then be uploaded to any existing database, alongside an artificial intelligence 3D biofabrication database created to optimize the use of different 3D biofabrication and biomaterial technologies needed for final applications in regenerative medicine and human-machine interfaces.

The “3D biofabrication & biomanufacturing metaverse” will be decentralized and open to the public with the potential to strengthen the interconnection amongst the 3d biofabrication community, enhance the level of collaboration, and utilize a cryptocurrency reward system for researchers, industry professionals, clinicians and other start-ups or stakeholders working with 3D biofabrication, organ on a chip, tissue engineering, synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, and human-machine interface technologies.

An important step of their partnership will be in the development of an independent and decentralized sustainable “OuroCoin” in a collaboration that will connect & reward 3D biofabrication and biomanufacturing researchers in cryptocurrency that can work with any online database, hardware or software to tag, trace, and reward the original researchers that created the digital 3D printable designs, 3D in vitro models, novel 3D biomaterials, custom 3D biofabrication or biomanufacturing protocols, open-sourced technology, or publications in open science.

The future blockchain platform technologies that extend from the OuroCoin will be released and also be independent decentralized platforms or entirely new start-ups open to the public domain & interconnected with other metaverse platforms and start-ups to enhance the level of new forms of collaboration between academic institutes, start-ups, scale-ups, citizen scientists, clinicians, and industry professionals. The second step is to work with other institutes and companies in alliance to further enhance the global 3D biofabrication and biomanufacturing metaverse platform. By strengthening the consortia of global partnerships over time they aim to drive the full potential of what would be the future of “3D Bioprinting & Biomanufacturing Metaverse” to further enhance what is now known as the fourth industrial revolution “Industry 4.0”.

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Dr. Stephen Cúchulainn Gray

Dr. Stephen G. (Cúchulainn) Gray is a serial entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience in biomedical engineering & deep technology. He has co-founded multiple start-up companies in the sectors of 4D Bioprinting, Human Machine Interfaces, Regenerative Medicine, Blockchain, Food, Textiles, Organ on a Chip. The first start-up he co-founded, Ourobotics, was voted amongst the Top 10 3D bioprinters in 2015 & they open-sourced basic extrusion 3D bioprinting in 2016. He is an active Founder & Chief Operations Officer of Ourobionics, Cartallum, GutsBV, OuroFoods, Nukaryo. He co-founded the writing style of "Ouro Journalism" with a focus on the sector of deep technology. He is a biomedical engineering PhD alumni of Imperial College London. In Utrecht, the Netherlands his holding companies Cúchulainn Gray BV and Ouro BV focus on enhancing the deep technology start-up & scale-up ecosystems.
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