BiofabricationBioprintingDrug Discovery & DevelopmentMedical AM

Vital3D offers bioprinting services for drug development testing

The company is a partner for rapid protoyping, lab-on-chip and scaffold manufacturing via 2PP technology

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In an effort to address the need to speed up the process of bringing new pharmaceuticals to market, Lithuanian company Vital3D is offering bioprinting services that provide advanced solutions for medical research, drug discovery and regenerative medicine. Leveraging 2PP technology, Vital3D is positioning itself as an asset for healthcare and biotech industries active in drug development.

Researchers are looking to the latest technological advancements to help speed the process of bringing new pharmaceuticals to market. The whole drug development process requires up to fourteen years and over $2 billion in investment, so any advantage can lead to considerable savings. Bioprinting is one area of biotech that has the potential to improve this situation.

Vital3D offers capabilities such as rapid prototyping services tailored for biotech applications. Using state-of-the-art equipment, the company’s bioengineers can produce precise and intricate models for research and development such as drug discovery, lab equipment, medical device prototypes and more. Vital3D also offers lab-on-chips that can be elevated to the more complex architectures, containing small and ultra-precise channels. Finally, using 2PP stereolithography, the company is available as a partner for the production of biocompatible scaffolds that can be used in tissue engineering to create replacement tissues and organs as well as for faster skin or other tissue healing after injury.

Vital3D offers bioprinting services for drug development as a partner for rapid protoyping, lab-on-chip and scaffold manufacturing via 2PP
A 2PP 3D printed scaffold

The promise of bioprinting

Bioprinting is a cutting-edge technology that uses 3D printers and biomaterials to create living tissues and organs for medical applications. By building up cells and biomaterials layer upon layer, it is possible to construct functioning tissues and organs. This has clear promise in the area of organ transplantation, but the possibility of full organ transplants remains a few decades away.

In the meantime, a potential game-changer lies in applying bioprinting to drug testing. Traditionally, drugs are tested on two-dimensional cell cultures or animals before human trials. But those processes are expensive and lengthy, and they also fail to predict all possible human responses accurately. Here, bioprinting steps in to revolutionize the process.

Bioprinting in drug development

By leveraging bioprinting, scientists can design 3D tissues that mimic specific human organs or diseases. “Organ-on-a-chip (OOC) models, organoids or specific disease tissues engineered from human cells offer a more human-relevant model for detecting a drug’s effectiveness or side effects before it advances to human trials,” said Vidmantas Šakalys, Chief Executive Officer of Vital3D Technologies. “Instead of a broad-brush, one-size-fits-all approach, bioprinting will make it possible to observe how specific drugs interact with different human body tissues, bringing an unprecedented level of accuracy and speed to drug testing.”

There are several tangible benefits to this approach. First, bioprinting could significantly reduce the time and cost associated with drug development, meaning companies could know a drug’s effect sooner, minimizing expensive failed trials. Second, this technology has the potential to decrease reliance on animal testing, marking a significant shift toward more human and effective approaches in biomedical sciences.

Vital3D offers bioprinting services for drug development as a partner for rapid protoyping, lab-on-chip and scaffold manufacturing via 2PP

Addressing challenges

Still, there are certain challenges left to face before bioprinting can be adopted for mainstream drug testing. “The human body is infinitely complex in its chemical and biophysical structures, making it highly difficult to create testing models that closely resemble the necessary environment,” said Šakalys. “The main limitation is the fact that currently there are no standardized tissue sourcing or processing techniques, and no standardized cell medium formulations or well-defined tissue engineering matrices.”

Using 2PP technology Vital3D offers 3D printing of lab-on-chips that can be elevated to the more complex architectures, containing small and ultra-precise channels. Also, multi-organ-on-chip systems are also possible as printable structure height can be as high as 10 cm.

But biotech firms are making progress nonetheless, Šakalys said. “Currently, the organ-on-a-chip development field is experiencing exponential growth, which suggests a promising future for actively adapting this technology in research. As technological innovations continue to enhance the reproducibility, complexity, and scalability of organ-on-a-chip models, researchers can anticipate an increasingly refined toolkit for understanding human physiology and pathology.”


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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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