21 December 2018

UM-institute MERLN will develop kidney tissue using 3D-bioprinting

The Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (MERLN) at Maastricht University is pleased to announce a collaboration with Aspect Biosystems, a leading biotechnology company in the field of 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering. This collaboration includes the placement of an RX1™ Bioprinting Platform in Professor Lorenzo Moroni’s Lab, where it will be used to develop kidney tissue by head of bioprinting research, Dr. Carlos Mota. Under the terms of the collaborative research agreement, Aspect has an option to further develop and commercialize products based upon the results of the research.

“This is an exciting opportunity,” says Prof. Moroni and Dr. Mota. “Aspect’s microfluidic bioprinting technology is very appealing from a flexibility and modularity perspective. At Maastricht University, we have been investing a lot of energy in developing 3D bioprinted in vitro models, which we consider a first immediate step in gaining the knowledge needed for developing regenerative medicine solutions for complex tissue and organ replacement. We already took our first steps in kidney tissue models and we are particularly excited to apply our expertise with Aspect’s platform technology and join forces with their innovative team, which we expect will accelerate our findings and impact in this space.”

“At Aspect, we are committed to collaborating with leading research groups in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to realize the broad applicability of our technology,” said Tamer Mohamed, President and CEO of Aspect Biosystems. “Patients on life-saving, but onerous, dialysis treatment are often found waiting for donor organs that are severely limited in supply. Tissue engineers recognize the potential of their work to alleviate this problem, but kidney tissue is complex and extremely challenging to create. There is also a strong need for suitable pre-clinical in vitro kidney models to predict nephrotoxicity and study disease in the biopharmaceutical industry. By combining the deep expertise at MERLN with our microfluidic 3D printing technology, we are increasing our capacity to tackle these kidney-related challenges head-on.”

Photo: Carlos Mota

 How to bioprint kidney tissue (Article in Dutch)

About MERLN

The Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (MERLN) strives to maintain a leading position in the field of biomedical engineering by combining creative research with training an interdisciplinary generation of scientists. MERLN’s activities operate at the interface of biology and engineering and aim to maximise outreach at the level of public involvement, development, and the commercialisation of research. MERLN’s vision is based on sharing knowledge, infrastructure, and ambition.

The Moroni Lab is part of the MERLN institute at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. The research group was founded in 2009 at University of Twente, the Netherlands, laying down its roots on biofabrication technologies to control cell fate. Today, the Moroni Lab has several local and international collaborations. Locally, we contribute to the Brightlands ecosystem, with which a new program on 3D printing for biomedical applications is being established. The vicinity of the Maastricht University academic hospital further facilitates strong collaborations with clinical departments.

About Aspect Biosystems

Aspect Biosystems is a privately held biotechnology company operating at the leading edge of 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering. The company’s microfluidic 3D printing technology is enabling advances in understanding fundamental biology, disease research, development of novel therapeutics, and regenerative medicine. In addition to its internal programs, Aspect is focused on strategically partnering with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as academic researchers, to create physiologically and commercially relevant tissues. These tissues are used to advance and accelerate the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies.

Source: Moroni Lab, UM