Posts Tagged ‘3D’

Body Labs Secures Exclusive U.S. Patents And Licenses For 3D Body Modeling Technologies

Body Labs establishes leadership through proprietary technology developed from research led by world-class computer vision scientist Michael J. Black

Mar 21, 2016, 09:00 ET from Body Labs

NEW YORK, March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Body Labs (, the provider of the world’s most advanced technology for analyzing the human body’s shape, pose and motion, announced today that it has secured the exclusive rights to two patents issued to Brown University and licenses to several new technologies developed at Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH.

U.S. Patents 9,189,886 B2 and 2013/0249908 A1 expand Body Labs’ exclusive ability to create accurate 3D human models learned from natural shape and pose variations captured from data inputs such as images or range maps. These patents cover intellectual property included in Body Labs’ statistical model of human shape, pose and motion. This statistical approach employs machine learning algorithms and the world’s most comprehensive training set of human shape and pose to convert shape parameters (measurements or scans) into the most statistically-accurate body geometry currently available.

Body Labs also announced exclusive licenses to several new technologies developed at Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH. These technologies enable Body Labs to further expand its technical leadership into other areas of the human body such as hands, feet, faces and heads. Additionally, the new developments streamline the adoption of Body Labs’ technology into other industry workflows such as animation pipelines, gaming, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), health, fitness and more. These technologies also provide never-before-seen detail into soft-tissue deformation trained on shape data and pose variations captured from 4D scanners.

“These exclusive patents and licenses enable us to unlock unprecedented personalization across the entire human body and ensure our technology is more accessible than ever to a growing list of industries,” said William O’Farrell, co-founder and CEO of Body Labs. “It’s been a privilege to be partnered with Brown University and the Max Planck Institute for the past three years. These patents and licenses enable us to further expand our relationship and drive rapid innovation in the 3D body modeling space.”

According to Juniper Research, 60 million users across smartphones, tablets and smart glasses will use augmented reality apps in 2016. Gartner has also projected that 25 million units of virtual reality headsets will be in the hands of consumers by 2018. This year, tech giants such as Intel (Intel Capital led Body Labs’ Series A round of financing) will be working with manufacturers to integrate depth-sensor technology into smartphones as well. This broad adoption will deliver entirely new developer platforms made for everyday consumers that can manage, process and host 3D data.

Body Labs is the only company to provide the body as a digital platform. Through Body Labs, brands and retailers can access API’s for building consumer-facing experiences such as apparel sizing recommendations, bespoke clothing, fitness tracking, personalizing VR or AR experiences and more. For more information on how to personalize goods and services around human body shape visit:

About Body Labs
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Manhattan, Body Labs collects, digitizes and organizes all of the data and information related to human body shape, pose and motion. Its mission is to transform the human body into a digital platform upon and around which goods and services can be designed, produced, bought and sold. For more information, please

SOURCE Body Labs

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Introduction to Tissue Engineering; Nanotechnology applications

Author, Editor and Curator:  Tilda Barliya, PhD


Tissue Engineering is an emerging multidisciplinary field involving biology, medicine, and engineering that is likely to revolutionize the ways we improve the health and quality of life for millions of people by restoring, maintaining, or enhancing tissue and organ function. Tissue engineering emerged as organ transplantation is limited by the number of  available donors and high cost process, leaving thousands of people each year on the transplant waiting lists in the United States alone. Many die before an organ donor becomes available. Dr. Tal Dvir from the Langer’s lab at MIT have summarized this topic in his review (2.

Tissue engineering aims at developing functional substitutes for damaged tissues and organs, a process that involves the use of a combination of cells, engineering and material methods, including suitable biochemical and chemical factors to improve or replace biological functions. Rather than simply introducing cells into a diseased area to repopulate a defect and/or restore function, in tissue engineering the cells are often seeded in or onto biomaterials (scaffolds) before transplantation.

These biomaterial scaffold allows cells to attach and reorganize to form functional tissue by proliferating, synthesizing extracellular matrix, and migrating along the implant path (1,2,3) Figure 1.

Until recently, it was believed that the macroporous features of scaffolds used in tissue engineering mimicked the dimension scale of the extracellular matrix (ECM), and that the matrix itself (natural or artificial) only served as a support for the cells; morphogenesis was controlled passively by defining tissue boundaries. Emphasis was placed on critical engineering and material issues, such as improving mass transfer into the core of the cell constructs and designing biocompatible and biodegradable scaffolds with mechanical properties suitable for engineering various tissues. As the field evolved, attention focused on the biology of the scaffolds and how they affect various cell types.

Tissue engineers had recognized that some of the widely used scaffolds do not fairly recapitulate the cell microenvironment and that the ECM is a dynamic and hierarchically organized nanocomposite that regulates essential cellular functions such as:

  • morphogenesis,
  • differentiation
  • proliferation
  • adhesion
  • migration

Nanotechnological tools for tissue engineering may help design advanced nanocomposite scaffolds that can better mimic the ECM and eventually assemble more complex and larger functional tissues. In order to generate a functional tissue, effective organization of cells in the tissue is required with similar morphology and physiology of the parental tissue.

Morphogenesis in the three-dimensional (3D) scaffold should occur in a similar way to natural organ development. The cells reorganize owing to interaction with the ECM on the basis of:

  • topography,
  • mechanical properties (such as matrix stiffness, elasticity and viscosity)
  • concentration gradients of immobilized growth factors
  • ECM molecules.

Recently, Ott and co-workers (4) reported a study emphasizing the importance of the ECM structure in guiding the seeded cells and promoting morphogenesis. Rat hearts were decellularized by perfusion of detergents to preserve the underlying ECM and then reseeded with cardiac and endothelial cells (4). The cells migrated and self-organized in their natural location in the matrix and by day 8, under physiological load and electrical stimulation, the constructs were able to generate pump function (4). The importance of the ECM was shown for:

  • Heart
  • Lung
  • Arteries
  • Liver
  • Bone
  • Nerve

So why is the Extracellular Martix (ECM) so important?

The ECM is composed of an intricate interweaving of protein fibres such as fibrillar collagens and elastins, ranging from 10 to several hundreds of nanometres. The mesh is covered with nanoscale adhesive proteins such as laminin and fibronectin that provide specific binding sites for cell adhesion (interacting with integrins, cadherins and so forth) and have been shown to regulate important cell behaviours such as growth, shape, migration and differentiation. Polysaccharides such as hyaluronic acid and heparan sulphate fill the interstitial space between the fibres and act as a compression buffer against the stress placed on the ECM or serve as a growth factor depot (Figure 2).

Scaffold design considerations

The ECMs of various tissues in the body differ in the composition and spatial organization of the collagens, elastins, proteoglycans and adhesion molecules, to maintain specific tissue morphologies and organ specific shape and function, and to supply specific instructive cues. Therefore, the design considerations for scaffolds should vary according to the desired engineered tissue. For example, the biochemical, electrical and mechanical functions of the heart are uniquely dependent on their biological nanostructures. The heart’s 3D ECM network is composed of an intricate, micro- and nanoscale interweaving pattern of fibrillar collagen and elastin bundles that form a dense, elastic network with proteoglycans and with adhesive and non-adhesive molecules. In this defined mesh, the cardiomyocytes are forced to couple mechanically to each other, to form elongated and aligned cell bundles that interact with each other or with neighbouring capillaries and nerves.

Post-isolation cells lose their ultrastructural elongated morphology and their interaction with their surroundings, and they adopt a random distribution on the flat surface of the scaffold, which compromises many of their physiological properties. Therefore, the structure and support of the ECM is crucial. See Figure 2.

Limitations of the ECM:

  • Weak mechanical properties
  • Lack of electrical conductivity
  • Absence of adhesive and micoenvironment- defining moieties
  • Inability of cells to self-assemble to 3D tissue structure.

The rational behind incorporating nanostructures is to compensate for other scaffold limitations (Table 2) Ref.2

The Heart for example requires more than alignment and mechanical support (Boyang Zhang, Ref 5)

  1. cell responses to micro- and nanopatterned topographical cues
  2. cell responses to patterned biochemical cues
  3. controlled 3D scaffolds
  4. patterned tissue vascularization
  5. electromechanical regulation (conductivity). of tissue assembly and function

Nanostructures can be used to record the electronic signals that are transmitted through cells such as neurons and cardiomyocytes. One way to record these signals is by lithographically defining nanostructures as field-effect transistors, which are sensitive to local electric field changes. In particular, silicon nanowire transistors are useful for measuring extracellular signals because they exhibit particularly exquisite field-effect sensitivity compared with conventional, planar devices; they are just tens of nanometres in diameter and can therefore interface with cells and tissue at a subcellular level; and they show nanotopographic features that encourage tight interfaces with biological systems.



This introduction reviewed some of the aspects required for tissue engineering  with the affiliation to nanotechnology. In the next post, we will dive deeper into a specific tissue organ, the bioengineering aspect and how nanotechnology strategies may improve the design and outcome.




2.  Dvir T.,  Timko BR., Kohane DS., and Langer R. Nanotechnological strategies for engineering complex tissues. Nature Nanotechnology 2010; 12():.


4.  Ott, H. C. et al. Perfusion-decellularized matrix: Using nature’s platform to engineer a bioartificial heart. Nature Med. 14, 213–221 (2008).

5. Boyang Zhang, Yun Xiao, Anne Hsieh, Nimalan Thavandiran and Milica Radisic. Micro- and nanotechnology in cardiovascular tissue engineering. Nanotechnology 2011; 22(49): 494003

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Reporter Aviral Vatsa, PhD MBBS

Annual treatment costs for musculoskeletal diseases in the US are roughly 7.7% (~ $849 billion) of total gross domestic product. Such disorders are the main cause of physical disability in US. Almost half of all chronic conditions in people can be attributed to bone and joint disorders. In addition there is increasing ageing population and associated increases in osteoporosis and other diseases, rising incidences of degenerative intervertebral disk diseases and numbers of revision orthopedic arthroplasty surgeries, and increases in spinal fusions. All these factors contribute towards the increasing requirement of bone regeneration and reconstruction methods and products. Delivery of therapeutic grade products to bone has various challenges. Parenteral administration limits the efficient delivery of drugs to the required site of injury and local delivery methods are often expensive and invasive. The theme issue of Advance Drug Delivery reviews focuses on the current status of drug delivery to bone and the issues facing this field. Here is the first part of these reviews and research articles.

1. Demineralized bone matrix in bone repair: History and use


Demineralized bone matrix (DBM) is an osteoconductive and osteoinductive commercial biomaterial and approved medical device used in bone defects with a long track record of clinical use in diverse forms. True to its name and as an acid-extracted organic matrix from human bone sources, DBM retains much of the proteinaceous components native to bone, with small amounts of calcium-based solids, inorganic phosphates and some trace cell debris. Many of DBM’s proteinaceous components (e.g., growth factors) are known to be potent osteogenic agents. Commercially sourced as putty, paste, sheets and flexible pieces, DBM provides a degradable matrix facilitating endogenous release of these compounds to the bone wound sites where it is surgically placed to fill bone defects, inducing new bone formation and accelerating healing. Given DBM’s long clinical track record and commercial accessibility in standard forms and sources, opportunities to further develop and validate DBM as a versatile bone biomaterial in orthopedic repair and regenerative medicine contexts are attractive.

2. Biomimetic hydrogels for controlled biomolecule delivery to augment bone regeneration


The regeneration of large bone defects caused by trauma or disease remains a significant clinical problem. Although osteoinductive growth factors such as bone morphogenetic proteins have entered clinics, transplantation of autologous bone remains the gold standard to treat bone defects. The effective treatment of bone defects by protein therapeutics in humans requires quantities that exceed the physiological doses by several orders of magnitude. This not only results in very high treatment costs but also bears considerable risks for adverse side effects. These issues have motivated the development of biomaterials technologies allowing to better control biomolecule delivery from the solid phase. Here we review recent approaches to immobilize biomolecules by affinity binding or by covalent grafting to biomaterial matrices. We focus on biomaterials concepts that are inspired by extracellular matrix (ECM) biology and in particular the dynamic interaction of growth factors with the ECM. We highlight the value of synthetic, ECM-mimicking matrices for future technologies to study bone biology and develop the next generation of ‘smart’ implants.


3. Calcium phosphate cements as drug delivery materials


Calcium phosphate cements are used as synthetic bone grafts, with several advantages, such as their osteoconductivity and injectability. Moreover, their low-temperature setting reaction and intrinsic porosity allow for the incorporation of drugs and active principles in the material. It is the aim of the present work to: a) provide an overview of the different approaches taken in the application of calcium phosphate cements for drug delivery in the skeletal system, and b) identify the most significant achievements. The drugs or active principles associated to calcium phosphate cements are classified in three groups, i) low molecular weight drugs; ii) high molecular weight biomolecules; and iii) ions.

4. Silk constructs for delivery of musculoskeletal therapeutics


Silk fibroin (SF) is a biopolymer with distinguishing features from many other bio- as well as synthetic polymers. From a biomechanical and drug delivery perspective, SF combines remarkable versatility for scaffolding (solid implants, hydrogels, threads, solutions), with advanced mechanical properties and good stabilization and controlled delivery of entrapped protein and small molecule drugs, respectively. It is this combination of mechanical and pharmaceutical features which renders SF so exciting for biomedical applications. This pattern along with the versatility of this biopolymer has been translated into progress for musculoskeletal applications. We review the use and potential of silk fibroin for systemic and localized delivery of therapeutics in diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. We also present future directions for this biopolymer as well as the necessary research and development steps for their achievement.

5. Demineralized bone matrix as a vehicle for delivering endogenous and exogenous therapeutics in bone repair


As a unique human bone extract approved for implant use, demineralized bone matrix (DBM) retains substantial amounts of endogenous osteoconductive and osteoinductive proteins. Commercial preparations of DBM represent a clinically accessible, familiar, widely used and degradable bone-filling device, available in composite solid, strip/piece, and semi-solid paste forms. Surgically placed and/or injected, DBM releases its constituent compounds to bone sites with some evidence for inducing new bone formation and accelerating healing. Significantly, DBM also has preclinical history as a drug carrier by direct loading and delivery of several important classes of therapeutics. Exogenous bioactive agents, including small molecule drugs, protein and peptide drugs, nucleic acid drugs and transgenes and therapeutic cells have been formulated within DBM and released to bone sites to enhance DBM’s intrinsic biological activity. Local release of these agents from DBM directly to surgical sites in bone provides improved control of dosing and targeting of both endogenous and exogenous bioactivity in the context of bone healing using a clinically familiar product. Given DBM’s long clinical track record and commercial accessibility in standard forms and sources, opportunities to formulate DBM as a versatile matrix to deliver therapeutic agents locally to bone sites in orthopedic repair and regenerative medicine contexts are attractive.

6. Nanofiber-based delivery of bioactive agents and stem cells to bone sites


Biodegradable nanofibers are important scaffolding materials for bone regeneration. In this paper, the basic concepts and recent advances of self-assembly, electrospinning and thermally induced phase separation techniques that are widely used to generate nanofibrous scaffolds are reviewed. In addition, surface functionalization and bioactive factor delivery within these nanofibrous scaffolds to enhance bone regeneration are also discussed. Moreover, recent progresses in applying these nanofiber-based scaffolds to deliver stem cells for bone regeneration are presented. Along with the significant advances, challenges and obstacles in the field as well as the future perspective are discussed.

7. Intra-operatively customized implant coating strategies for local and controlled drug delivery to bone


Bone is one of the few tissues in the human body with high endogenous healing capacity. However, failure of the healing process presents a significant clinical challenge; it is a tremendous burden for the individual and has related health and economic consequences. To overcome such healing deficits, various concepts for a local drug delivery to bone have been developed during the last decades. However, in many cases these concepts do not meet the specific requirements of either surgeons who must use these strategies or individual patients who might benefit from them. We describe currently available methods for local drug delivery and their limitations in therapy. Various solutions for drug delivery to bone focusing on clinical applications and intra-operative constraints are discussed and drug delivery by implant coating is highlighted. Finally, a new set of design and performance requirements for intra-operatively customized implant coatings for controlled drug delivery is proposed. In the future, these requirements may improve approaches for local and intra-operative treatment of patients.

8. Local delivery of small and large biomolecules in craniomaxillofacial bone


Current state of the art reconstruction of bony defects in the craniomaxillofacial (CMF) area involves transplantation of autogenous or allogenous bone grafts. However, the inherent drawbacks of this approach strongly urge clinicians and researchers to explore alternative treatment options. Currently, a wide interest exists in local delivery of biomolecules from synthetic biomaterials for CMF bone regeneration, in which small biomolecules are rapidly emerging in recent years as an interesting adjunct for upgrading the clinical treatment of CMF bone regeneration under compromised healing conditions. This review highlights recent advances in the local delivery small and large biomolecules for the clinical treatment of CMF bone defects. Further, it provides a perspective on the efficacy of biomolecule delivery in CMF bone regeneration by reviewing presently available reports of pre-clinical studies using various animal models.

9. Immobilized antibiotics to prevent orthopaedic implant infections


Many surgical procedures require the placement of an inert or tissue-derived implant deep within the body cavity. While the majority of these implants do not become colonized by bacteria, a small percentage develops a biofilm layer that harbors invasive microorganisms. In orthopaedic surgery, unresolved periprosthetic infections can lead to implant loosening, arthrodeses, amputations and sometimes death. The focus of this review is to describe development of an implant in which an antibiotic tethered to the metal surface is used to prevent bacterial colonization and biofilm formation. Building on well-established chemical syntheses, studies show that antibiotics can be linked to titanium through a self-assembled monolayer of siloxy amines. The stable metal–antibiotic construct resists bacterial colonization and biofilm formation while remaining amenable to osteoblastic cell adhesion and maturation. In an animal model, the antibiotic modified implant resists challenges by bacteria that are commonly present in periprosthetic infections. While the long-term efficacy and stability is still to be established, ongoing studies support the view that this novel type of bioactive surface has a real potential to mitigate or prevent the devastating consequences of orthopaedic infection.

10. Local delivery of nitric oxide: Targeted delivery of therapeutics to bone and connective tissues


Non-invasive treatment of injuries and disorders affecting bone and connective tissue remains a significant challenge facing the medical community. A treatment route that has recently been proposed is nitric oxide (NO) therapy. Nitric oxide plays several important roles in physiology with many conditions lacking adequate levels of NO. As NO is a radical, localized delivery via NO donors is essential to promoting biological activity. Herein, we review current literature related to therapeutic NO delivery in the treatment of bone, skin and tendon repair.


  1. Demineralized bone matrix in bone repair: History and use
  2. Biomimetic hydrogels for controlled biomolecule delivery to augment bone regeneration
  3. Calcium phosphate cements as drug delivery materials
  4. Silk constructs for delivery of musculoskeletal therapeutics
  5. Demineralized bone matrix as a vehicle for delivering endogenous and exogenous therapeutics in bone repair
  6. Nanofiber-based delivery of bioactive agents and stem cells to bone sites
  7. Intra-operatively customized implant coating strategies for local and controlled drug delivery to bone
  8. Immobilized antibiotics to prevent orthopaedic implant infections
  9. Local delivery of nitric oxide: Targeted delivery of therapeutics to bone and connective tissues

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