Posted on : Thursday, 9th January 2020
The true benefit of any technology advancement is its ability to solve ongoing issues. A recent collaboration between 3D Systems and Antleron sets the stage for a flexible, scalable digital factory approach, built on modular, closed parametric processes which include digital monitoring and quality control for risk mitigation. An example is to advance the way cells and tissues are grown to enable the transition from a static 2D to bioreactor-based 3D cell culture. This can lead to new ways to manufacture functional medical implants, vaccines, cell therapies and living tissues.
Antleron has created an R&D facility at their headquarters in Leuven, Belgium - a location known as an incubator for medical and life science innovation - to support and validate customer projects in the field of 3D bioprinting. Antleron's living therapy factory merges cells, biomaterials, biologics, bioreactors and 3D Systems printers to accelerate the engineering of living therapies. Using quality-by-design and artificial intelligence the Antleron multidisciplinary specialists translate these core technologies into pioneering workflows that turn cells into therapies.
The collaborative relationship between 3D Systems and Antleron addresses solutions for medical device and advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) applications, incorporating a variety of innovative technologies that are of benefit to biomedical manufacturing process, beginning with 3D Systems' ProJet MJP 2500 and Figure 4 3D printers and existing portfolio of 21 biocompatible, USP Class VI materials; 3D Sprint and 3DXpert software, and post-processing equipment and processes.
3D Systems first entered the field of regenerative medicine in 2017 through a collaboration with United Therapeutics to develop transplantable lungs and other solid organs. 3D Systems’ role is to develop high resolution 3D printing systems for collagen-based hydrogel scaffolds, beginning with lung scaffolds. In this collaboration, 3D Systems is providing the 3D printing expertise and United Therapeutics is providing expertise in cell biology as well as in lung anatomy and therapy.
“Based on this experience - alongside our bioprinting experience with United Therapeutics - we are interested in other ways to apply these technologies in the field of regenerative medicine as well as other clinical applications with biocomponents,” 3D Systems co-founder and CTO Chuck Hull tells IndustryWeek. “There are many medical applications for our technology, and we spend a lot of time looking at this to understand the opportunities. We work with a variety of participants in the field that all bring a unique expertise with the goal of developing the best possible solutions.”
According to Hull, one of the key components at the very core of solutions for regenerative medicine is to have the proper 3D printing technology and materials. “To truly provide an environment for proper cell nutrition and growth, bioprinting requires the ability to print in very fine detail,” he says. “These collaborations result in solutions that incorporate the right workflow and materials to advance research, with the goal of providing patient therapies that positively impact quality of life. As we look to the future, bioprinting and regenerative medicine are large opportunities for 3D printing, and we look forward to expanding the role 3D Systems will play in these exciting fields."
According to Antleron CEO, Jan Schrooten, "The vision of Antleron is to sustainably bring living therapies into the clinic. 3D printing is key to this endeavor, and we are eager to collaborate with 3D Systems and its experts. I look forward to the pioneering solutions we'll be able to achieve to elevate the efficacy of bioprinting and extend its biomedical application reach.”