3D Bioprinting Solutions Interview met Vladimir Mironov, Chief Scientific Officer

3D Bioprinting Solutions
Interview met Vladimir Mironov, Chief Scientific Officer
Auteur: Netherlands Office for Science & Technology Moscow, Elena Kyzyngasheva

Skolkovo Innovation Center is één van de meest in het oog springende pogingen om de Russische economie te diversificeren en te moderniseren. Innovatiestad Skolkovo brengt wetenschappers, bedrijfsleven en investeerders samen met als doel om innovaties tot stand te brengen, onder andere in een biomedisch cluster. Sinds de start in 2010 zijn ruim 215 innovatieve bedrijven samen, die actief zijn in het ontwikkelen van innovatieve medicijnen, producten voor medische diagnostiek en behandeling, nieuwe bio-compatible materialen en cell technologies.

Een van die bedrijven is 3D Bioprinting Solutions dat zich richt op 3D bioprinting van organen. Het bedrijf zal op het Open Innovations Forum (Moskou, oktober 2014) de eerste Russische 3D bioprinter presenteren.

Het bioprinting research lab heeft zich het printen van een menselijke nier als lange termijn doel gesteld. Het R&D project waar Skolkovo in investeert betreft het ontwikkelen van een ‘nephron-on-chip’ technologie met twee nierfuncties: reabsorptie en secretie. Het nefron, geconstrueerd uit menselijke niercellen, zal als basiselement gebruikt worden voor het 3D printen van een nier.

In het kader van het artikel ‘modernisering en innovatie in de medische sector’ sprak NOST Rusland met Vladimir Mironov, Chief Scientific Officer van 3D Bioprinting Solutions.

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Bioprinting

Creating techniques for 3D human tissue and organ bioprinting is an important trend in medicine and bioengineering today. With this technology it will be possible to create a functional living construct, which one can implant in the human body. It will eliminate the need of human organ transplantation. No more waiting for donor organs – just come to the surgery room and everything will be printed there. The use of 3D bioprinting technology to create organs from a patient’s stem cells could be the solution to the problem of immune system compatibility, and with time, the technology opens up the possibility of receiving organ prototypes and effective methods of tissue replacement that allow a patient’s health to be fully returned. It would lead to a great improvement of human health and also create a new industry and high-tech jobs.

Vladimir Mironov is one of the pioneers of 3D bioprinting in Russia. His bioprinting research lab has set producing a human kidney as its long-term goal. On shorter term the scientific group is working on creating universal tissue constructs. Mironov is the inventor of a new organ printing concept: a computer- aided, layer-by-layer biofabrication method of functional 3D tissue and organ constructs using self- assembling tissue spheroids as building blocks.

“If we place tissue spheroids layer-by-layer in horizontal and vertical rows in hydrogel which does not prevent their merging, then it is theoretically possible to create three-dimensional tissue constructs. The uniqueness of our approach lies in the application of natural phenomena of tissue merging.”

At the end of July 2014 the researchers completed their first bioprinter. From September till October 2014 the lab is going to print three-dimensional tissue constructs using test samples. Then they will start to print an organ according to the developed sample. What the first organ will be is classified information.
After testing on animals, they should be ready to carry out clinical trials by 2015, but at this moment that still seems to be a distant perspective.

One of the problems of the current 3D printing method is that it requires many cells. To solve this issue a scalable biofabrication technology must be developed, so that not hundreds, but thousand of aggregates can be created.
Besides working on organ printing as such, the lab is also planning to develop the first tissue device for in-vivo printing. This would allow organ printing in a patient during surgery, and not in advance in a lab.

“We widely collaborate with foreign scientists from the USA (Stanford, Harvard, Virginia), Austria, Brazil, Israel, and Singapore. We would be very glad to set up cooperation with Dutch experts in the field of biomaterials, and particularly hydrogels for bioprinting.”

The lab is considering to apply for a European Flagship Grant consisting of:
  • Building Enabling Technologies for 3D Bioprinting (30%)
  • Exploring the interface with different disciplines (10%)
  • Biomedical applications and clinical translation (50%)
  • Beyond medical applications (5%)
  • Social aspects (5%)