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NTN Biotech – competences across the entire value chain Create human tissues for drug development

Keller, Hansjoerg, Graf-Hausner, Ursula and Heinzelmann, Elsbeth (2014) NTN Biotech – competences across the entire value chain Create human tissues for drug development. lifeSciences plus, 2014 (01). pp. 15-18. ISSN none


A breeding ground for innovative ideas in tissue engineering is the TEDD network (Tissue Engineering and Drug Development). ‘Spiritus rector’ is founder Ursula Graf-Hausner, Professor at the Institute of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry at the ZHAW. The partners from public and industrial research institutions cover the entire development and value chain. Their focus lies on the realization of 3D tissue cultures using human primary cells for different types of tissue like bone, cartilage and intervertebral discs, connective tissue and skin, the liver, kidney and tumor tissue. Beside production with or without scaffolds the 3D bioprinting technology is one emphasis, made possible by industrial partner regenHU. The BioInk®, a biomaterial supporting cellular growth, in combination with the 3D Discovery® bio-printer - both developed within CTI projects by ZHAW and regenHU (CEO Marc Thurner) – generate 3D constructs of cells, proteins and extracellular matrix components for tissues and organ models.

Pioneering work is accomplished in a CTI-project with Novartis, regenHU and Weidmann Medical Technology AG. Their in vitro test device comprises a microstructured multiwell culture plate with stimulation and readout for bioprinted muscle and tendon tissues. The system replaces animal based ex vivo test arrangements which have insufficient throughput and poor reproducibility. The application of 3D bioprinting processes enables the mimicking of complex in vivo muscle and tendon tissue. This fulfills a long-standing need, as there are no pharmaceutical therapies for muscle and tendon-related diseases up to now. “The huge advantage of the printing technology is the exact positioning of cells, matrix component and signalling factors”, says Ursula Graf-Hausner. “Our models should reduce animal experiments and safe time and costs. “ Bioprinting is a technology with huge potential to produce living organ-like tissue models with high complexity and functional structures. “Now we are ready to go for complex tissue models and further applications, not only in drug development but also in the area of regenerative medicine”, concludes the head of TEDD.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2016 00:45
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2016 00:45


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