A bioprinted pancreas for personalized medicine and to study new therapies against diabetes
With the advances in the 3D printing of living cells, new horizons emerge in medical research and treatments. Bioprinting of human tissues could be used to produce better models for testing the safety and efficacy of new drugs in laboratory settings, as well as for regenerative medicine. But in order to achieve this goal, the challenge is to guide the printed tissues to mature and to acquire the function of actual organs. For this reason, the EU-funded ENLIGHT project will develop a groundbreaking technological solution that combines 3D printing, photonics and synthetic biology, to build a bioprinted pancreas to test and develop new therapies against diabetes.
Starting with patient-derived stem cells, engineered to robustly differentiate into the different cell types that compose a mature pancreas. To link them together and drive their maturation, ENLIGHT uses a novel, ultra-fast volumetric bioprinting technology in which a visible light tomography shapes the cells into a living, functional tissue, supplied with vasculature. This opens a new era in medical research.
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 964497.