Firm targets 3D printing synthetic tissues, organs

April 17, 2014
Firm targets 3D printing synthetic tissues, organs
Prototype droplet network printer built by Oxford scientists. Credit: OU/G Villar

(Medical Xpress)—A University of Oxford spin-out, OxSyBio, will develop 3D printing techniques to produce tissue-like synthetic materials for wound healing and drug delivery. In the longer term the company aims to print synthetic tissues for organ repair or replacement. 

Isis Innovation, the University's research commercialisation company, announced today that OxSyBio has raised £1 million from IP Group plc, the developer of intellectual property based businesses, subject to the achievement of milestones. The new company will refine and advance the 3D droplet printing technology devised by Professor Hagan Bayley's group at Oxford University's Department of Chemistry. 

Professor Bayley's group has developed a technique to print synthetic tissue-like materials from thousands of tiny water droplets each coated in a thin film mimicking a living cell's external membrane, and studding these membranes with protein pores so they act like simplified cells. The group's research was featured on the cover page of Science in April 2013.

Professor Hagan Bayley said: 'We have been able to print networks of droplets through which electrical impulses can be transmitted in a manner similar to the way cells in the nervous system communicate: the signal moves rapidly and in a specific direction. We also aim to integrate printed tissue-like materials with living tissues, and to print materials that themselves contain living cells. 

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Credit: Oxford University

'Our long-term goal is to develop a synthetic-tissue printer that a surgeon can use in the operating theatre. In ten years' time, the use of pieces of synthetic tissue will be commonplace. The fabrication of complex synthetic organs is a more distant prospect.

'I am delighted to be working with Isis and IP Group to accelerate the development of our new company, OxSyBio. Our goal is to establish ourselves at the frontline of regenerative medicine.'

Tom Hockaday, managing director of Isis Innovation, said: 'This is the type of technology where science fiction can become science fact and Isis is proud to have been involved in creating a company around Professor Bayley's vision.'

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer of IP Group, said: 'Synthetic biology and regenerative medicine will be central to the development of healthcare in the 21st century and IP Group is pleased to support OxSyBio as it seeks to develop products that will help to realise the potential of these exciting and growing areas.' 

Explore further: New technology allows vital signs to be checked via webcam

Related Stories

Bioprinting new organs

April 3, 2014

With the new 3D Bioprinter, the research group of Professor Paul Gatenholm at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering exploits new possibilities of tissue engineering and organ regeneration.

Recommended for you

We've all got a blind spot, but it can be shrunk

August 31, 2015

You've probably never noticed, but the human eye includes an unavoidable blind spot. That's because the optic nerve that sends visual signals to the brain must pass through the retina, which creates a hole in that light-sensitive ...

Biologists identify mechanisms of embryonic wound repair

August 31, 2015

It's like something out of a science-fiction movie - time-lapse photography showing how wounds in embryos of fruit flies heal themselves. The images are not only real; they shed light on ways to improve wound recovery in ...

New 'Tissue Velcro' could help repair damaged hearts

August 28, 2015

Engineers at the University of Toronto just made assembling functional heart tissue as easy as fastening your shoes. The team has created a biocompatible scaffold that allows sheets of beating heart cells to snap together ...

Research identifies protein that regulates body clock

August 26, 2015

New research into circadian rhythms by researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga shows that the GRK2 protein plays a major role in regulating the body's internal clock and points the way to remedies for jet lag ...

Fertilization discovery: Do sperm wield tiny harpoons?

August 26, 2015

Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That's the intriguing possibility raised by the University of Virginia School of Medicine's discovery that a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.