GE Healthcare and ASLS Collaborate on Equipment for 3D Printed, Vascularized Tissue

December 9, 2019

Source: Pharmaceutical Technology's In the Lab eNewsletter

Issue 1,Volume 15

GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Advanced Solutions Life Sciences (ASLS) are partnering on 3D-printing of tissues that can be used for discovery and cytotoxicity testing.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Advanced Solutions Life Sciences (ASLS) are collaborating on 3D-printing of tissues that can be used for discovery and cytotoxicity testing, the companies announced in a Dec. 8, 2019 press release. The strategic R&D and distribution partnership aims to integrate GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ IN Cell Analyzer confocal imaging platform, with IN Carta cell analysis software, and ASLS’ BioAssemblyBot 3D bioprinter, with TSIM design software. The combination of technologies will embed cellular-level assessments into the 3D-bioprinting workflow used to create human tissue models.

Currently, biopharmaceutical companies test their drugs in 2D models and animal models. Precise 3D models provide a more physiologically relevant environment for drug testing because they mimic human reactions, explained the press release. A challenge for current bioprinted tissues is that they are small in size and die quickly, due to an inability to engineer small blood vessels needed to keep them alive. ASLS’ patented Angiomics technology enables bioprinted microvessels to self-assemble into functional capillary beds, which deliver nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to the 3D tissue model and remove waste, explained the company. The partnership would allow life scientists and tissue engineers to design, build, and image living, vascularized 3D tissues in a single process. 

“Printing multi-material 3D objects inside of microwell plates allows scientists to efficiently move away from traditional 2D monocultures on plastic, to 3D discovery and cytotoxicity models that more accurately reflect native biology and disease,” said Emmanuel Abate, general manager of Genomics & Cellular Research, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, in the press release. “By combining this flexibility and precision of the BioAssemblyBot with the image quality and speed of the IN Cell Analyzer 6500 HS confocal screening platform, the prospect of automating high content screening in 3D models can become a reality.”

A lean workcell for 3D tissue fabrication and assessments will shorten development timelines for drug developers. The integration between IN Cell Analyzer and BioAssemblyBot enables the automated inclusion of cellular imaging information into the tissue modeling process so that new therapies can be scaled more quickly and effectively, said the companies.

Source: GE Healthcare Life Sciences