BioP3 technology could be an alternative to bioprinting organs
Reported by: Irina Robu,PhD
Even though its still in the development stages, BioP3 may be the future of bioprinting human organs. It is being developed by a a team led by Jeffrey Morgan, Brown University bioengineer and Dr. Andrew Blakely, a surgery fellow at Rhode Island Hospital. The concept of the technology is inspired by the same method in which electronic devices are manufactured, where different components are selected and then carefully put in place to form a whole. In this case, those components are “microtissues” – microscopic structures composed of living tissue. These are manufactured using a micromolding technique developed by Morgan, in which various types of living cells can be made to self-assemble into predetermined shapes such as spheres, rods or honeycomb slabs.
Within the BioP3 device, which looks like a small, clear plastic box, a selection of microtissues is stored in a central chamber. A nozzle, connected to various tubes and a microscope-like stage, is used to pick them up one at a time via suction. An operator can then move each component precisely to where it needs to be, gradually building up a 3D biological structure. The microtissues are enclosed in liquid, and the plumbing within the nozzle creates fluid suction, allowing the nozzle to pick up, carry, and release the living microtisues without doing any damage to them.