Here at MAKO Design + Invent we have our own in-house 3D printers that are used to create prototypes for our clients. As a result, we are familiar with 3D printing techniques and the impact they can provide. Whats more, we are simply quite fond of our printers! Our senior industrial designer Robert Colgan, is a perfect example of how the team at MAKO uses their resourcefulness for repair purposes using 3D printing.
Today, however, we have come across an interesting article about Organovo, a bioprinting company from San Diego California that utilizes 3D printing to create functional human tissue!
What Will This 3D Printing Accomplish?
Two days ago, Organovo has announced that the liver tissue they created with 3D printing is now commercially available for pharmaceutical companies. This is a great advancement in healthcare by Organovo because they have provided a means for early drug testing and their toxicity. The liver tissue is made from three types of cells that are found in the human liver. It is important to note that these liver cells must be arranged very precisely, or they will not work. Previous 2D printed tissue collections are now a thing of the past because 3D printing provides superior results as the cells actually interact and simulate a liver more realistically. This process that Organovo has embarked upon with 3D printing has taken drug discovery down a path that is faster, more cost effective, and removes the need for animals testing. It is because liver toxicity is quite a major concern when creating medications, and testing within animals do not reveal dangers to humans.
Organovo’s 3D Printing Machine
Organovo is printing their liver tissue with a machine that is not much different from inkjet printers that we are accustomed to within office settings. The printer lays down the cells in a precise pattern about 20 cells thick. The produced tissue can then serve up to 42 days when researchers subject it to exploratory drugs.
The Future of Organovo
The future of Organovo is bright; the impact this innovative 3D printing technique is capable of is revolutionary. Organovo will not only focus on creating liver tissue, they also create everything from bone to blood vessels to heart tissue. Organovo’s long term plans however are to create 3D printed organs for transplants. In Canada alone there are 4,500 individuals waiting for organ transplants and only a fraction of Canadians are registered to donate.
Another promising feat that Organovo is embarking on is a partnership with National Institutes of Health. Starting in January, they will be 3D printing eye tissue that will be used within the study of disease advancement.
Here at MAKO Design + Invent, we get excited when pieces of technology that are commercially available can be used in such resourceful ways and be a changing force within our world. A 3D printer and a “what if” idea is what Organovo is using to provide a second chance at life for individuals across the world. If you have an idea and don’t know where to begin, contact us today and to speak to our experienced staff to let us know how we can help!
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!