Startups developing breakthrough 3D printed liver, skin

The innovations have huge potential in medical research and developing safe pharmaceutical products.

Two startups incubated at the Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) is making tremendous progress in tissue engineering.

While one of them is attempting to 3D print skin tissue from a customisable 3D bioprinter developed by the firm itself, the other is working towards manufacturing 3D printed liver and cornea.

The innovations by these multidisciplinary BBC startups have huge potential in medical research and developing safe pharmaceutical products for people with various health conditions.

Trivima printer

The firm behind the first indigenous 3D bioprinter ‘Trivima’, is Next Big Innovation Labs. The startup is the brainchild of Alok Medikepura Anil, Pooja Venkatesh, Ratandeep Singh Bansal and Piyush Padmanabhan.

Piyush Padmanabhan told DH that the lab is focusing on the development of bioprinted products for research and development, and clinical applications. Along with the development of India’s first customisable 3D bioprinter ‘Trivima’, which in Sanskrit means three dimensional, it is working on Innoskin, the firm’s 3D bioprinted human skin.

“Although the initial application for Innoskin would be in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and chemical testing applications, the long-term goal of the company is to translate its 3D bioprinted skin to clinical use. Then, we will be able to diagnose skin cancer and other conditions of the skin that are not easily treatable,” Padmanabhan said.

Another major breakthrough the company is looking forward is the technical validation of its 3D bioprinter, which is currently under progress in Germany.

The other firm which is drawing attention is Pandorum Technologies, co-founded by Tuhin Bhowmick and Arun Chandru.

“A lot of pharma companies are suffering losses as liver toxicity and other constraints result in the failure of many drugs. This is one of the reasons for developing an artificial liver. With 3D printed livers, we can induce diseases such as liver-stage malaria or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and screen which drugs work best,” Chandru said.

Dr Jitendra Kumar, managing director of the state-run enterprise said that apart from the two firms, which have shown tremendous potential, there were several startups working on different biotechnology verticals at BBC.

“In two years, seven startups have graduated from the BBC. Even now, we are incubating over 40 biotech startups of which several will graduate in a year or two,” Kumar added.

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