HOPE (Human Organ Printing Era)

  • Carla Moris profile
    Carla Moris
    1 May 2016 - updated 2 years ago
    Total votes: 4

Contribution received to the FET Flagships consultation: HOPE (Human Organ Printing Era)

Authors: International Society for Biofabrication

Reporter: Jos Malda - University Medical Center Utrecht

You can add your comments on this topic at:  https://ec.europa.eu/futurium/en/content/hope-human-organ-printing-era

Every day, an average of 16 people die in Europe and 22 in the US due to shortage of donor human organs. Our vision is to solve, once and forever, this shortage of organs for transplantation. To do this, we need to transform traditional surgical practice by inventing robotic bioprinting and integrating information communication technologies to provide a customisable implant that is robust and successful. Since the first human organ (kidney) transplantation in 1954 (Josephe Murray, Nobel Prize 1990), considerable research efforts have been committed to finding alternatives to treat the millions who are dying while waiting for donor organs. The challenge is not trivial and many avenues have been explored. In particular, xenogenic and allogeneic grafts have been exhaustively investigated and while human donor tissue is used in combination with immunotherapy, there are still more patients waiting for donor tissue than the ones who are being cured.

We aim to deliver what tissue engineering promised in the 1990s; a real-world solution to the challenges faced by people on waiting lists for organs. Our team believes that the post-diagnosis period is a time of action rather than acquiescence. Using the patient’s own cells and anatomy to generate an information signal, an artificial tissue/organ – such as kidney, liver or pancreas – will be fabricated using a fully automated bioreactor system. The use of 3D bioprinting, which was by itself recently classified by Gartner Inc. as an information technology, is central to our approach to precisely build known cellular constructs that are fully vascularized. This approach will, besides better engineered tissues and organs also yield valuable personalised in vitro 3D test models. The assembly line of the 3D bioprinted tissue or organ replacements will be incorporated into a bio-factory, located on site at the hospital where the transplantation takes place. It is our opinion that the generation of this personalised, highly complex product, would only be possible with effective imaging and information communication technology systems. Moreover, these developments will also fuel the development of the mass-personalisation of test- and prognostic-models.

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You can add your comments on this topic at:  https://ec.europa.eu/futurium/en/content/hope-human-organ-printing-era