Plant Protein Bio-ink Composition and Customizable 3D Bioprinted Bioscaffold for Biomedical Applications

Technology Overview

3D bioprinting utilizes 3D printing technique with “bioink” to fabricate biomaterials which better mimic natural tissue characteristics, with high complexity, in a layer-by-layer manner. Driven by its broad applications in areas ranging from wound dressing with controlled release of medicine, tissue engineering/regenerative medicine/drug screening and cancer research, the 3D bioprinting market is projected to enjoy CAGR of >20% to be worth US$1.33b by 2021. 

Bioscaffolds, with potential to recreate structural and physical environment of a living tissue, are key components in most bioprinting applications. 3D bioprinting is increasingly used as a method of fabrication for bioscaffolds because of its reproducibility, better control of pore sizes, morphology and matrix porosity compared with conventional fabrication methods.

However, low printability, cell viability and high cost of current bio-inks continues to limit applications of 3D bioprinted bioscaffolds. 

This technology involves proprietary green and efficient method of developing plant derived bioink composite and proprietary 3D bioprinting methodology for 3D bioprinting of multi-layered bioscaffold that has larger surface area, smaller and controllable pore size (400-100 micron or smaller) and greater porosity (>90%). Bioscaffolds printed with this proprietary plant derived bioink composite and proprietary 3D bioprinting methodology has also demonstrated enhanced cell attachment and proliferation, tunable biodegradation profile that can be monitored in vivo in real time and in a non-invasive manner. In addition, the plant derived bioink composite is also capable of encapsulating bioactive to be released in a controlled manner as the bioscaffold biodegrade – ideal for therapeutic applications such as wound dressing.

Technology Features & Specifications

The proprietary plant derived bio-ink composite methodology can be used to customize bioink for different 3D bioprinters; and when printed with the proprietary 3D bioprinting methodology is able to print bioscaffolds according to the specifications needed for different biomedical applications. There is also option of printing bioscaffold with encapsulated bioactives for controlled release during biodegradation process.

In general, 3D printed bioscaffolds with the described proprietary plant derived bioink and 3D printing methodology, have the following advantages:

  • Customizable scaffold design, diverse structural fabrication in accordance to required specifications for different biomedical applications
  • Tunable biodegradation profile
  • Cytocompatible
  • Batch to batch reproducibility
  • Enhanced cell affinity and proliferation
  • Real time, non-invasive monitoring of biodegradation profile in-vivo
  • Controlled release of bioactive encapsulated in the plant based bioink

Potential Applications

1. Customized development of plant based bioink composite for use in different bio-printers and for different biomedical applications
2. Customized 3D bioprinting of bio scaffolds in accordance to required specifications for

  • Therapeutic applications e.g. wound dressing with controlled-release of medicine embedded in the scaffold.
  • Tissue engineering applications
  • Regenerative medicine applications
  • 3D cell cultures for drug discovery and development
  • Tumor tissue model for cancer research 

Market Trends and Opportunities

The 3D bioprinting market is a nascent market that is projected to grow from $411 million in 2016 to $1.33 billion in 2021. 

Whilst clinical impact of 3D bioprinting in introduction of new treatment modalities in tissue engineering & regenerative medicine, and printing of organs for transplantation is still elusive, 3D bioprinting has made great inroad into pharmaceutical use as no regulatory approvals are needed.

There is currently an emerging bioprinting market for 3D cell cultures and printing of tissue model (e.g. liver, lung) for drug testing and high throughput assays. Bioprinting has also been used in cancer research to study cancer pathology, growth and metastasis in physiological relevant microenvironment. 

Bioscaffold, with its potential to recreate structural and physical microenvironment of living tissue, is a key component of 3D bioprinting. The market potential of bioscaffold can be seen in the 3D cell culture market, which is projected to be worth $1.69b in 2024, where bioscaffold is estimated to account for 40% of the market. 

Customer Benefits

  • Companies can meet their need of bioscaffolds without large upfront capital investments in 3D bioprinters and expertise in bioprinting. 
  • The bioscaffold can be developed with customized bioink composite and 3D bioprinted in accordance to the design, structures that will enhance performance of the customers’ products, as defined by the customers. 
  • The greater printability and cell supportive function of the plant based bioink composite enables development of tissue cultures without the need for cells to be embedded into bioink and undergo stress of printing thereby minimizing cell damage/death. 
  • Plant base bioink is more cost effective than current bioink that contains animal derived ink materials.
  • Batch by batch reproducibility of bioink and bioscaffold, unlike animal derived bioink

In summary, the greatest benefit to customers is ability to have customized bioscaffold without the significant cost and risk of customization. 

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