Skolkovo biomed cluster resident 3D Bioprinting Solutions has announced the successful printing of a mouse’s thyroid gland.
3D Bioprinting Solutions unveiled Russia's first bioprinter in October. Photo: 3D Bioprinting Solutions
If confirmed, it would reportedly be the world’s first synthetic construction of a complete, transplantable living organ.
“This is undoubtedly a breakthrough in the world of regenerative medicine,” said the bioprinter’s developer Vladimir Mironov. “We have successfully demonstrated the possibilities of Russia’s first bioprinter, and we’re continuing our validation work, systematically testing and optimizing our technology for 3D organ bioprinting,” he added.
The coming weeks will see Mironov’s team attempt to transplant the organ – a matter of millimeters thick - into a mouse suffering from hyperthyroidism, the results of which will be announced at the International Bioprinting Congress in Singapore in June.
The company selected the mouse’s thyroid gland because it is relatively small and simple in design, the lab said. In transplantation, the chance of rejection is minimized by the fact that the mouse’s own stem cells were used as the foundations for the organ, the lab said.
A proud website statement simply read: “The 3D Biprinting Solutions laboratory has successfully conducted the bioprinting of an organ construct of the thyroid gland of a mouse.”
“As was promised last fall, the lab’s scientists finished their work on time – by March 15,” the statement said.
A bioprinter is a machine that fabricates living cells, a technology that could revolutionize modern medicine by providing everything from skin grafts to replacement organs.
The firm 3D Bioprinting Solutions unveiled its 3D bioprinter to the public at the Open Innovations forum in the Russian capital October 14-16.
The bioprinter works by distributing so-called tissue spheroids, or bio-ink, in successive layers in a kind of scaffold structure made of hydrogel. The gel is washed away, leaving behind three-dimensional tissue that matches a computer design down to the individual cell.
Commenting on what Mironov’s achievement means for science, Gelena Livshits, a project manager for Skolkovo’s biomed cluster, said printing an entire organ, not simply a strand of tissue as competitors in the West do, would be a “genuine sensation.”