3D Printing

3D Printed Thyroid Successfully Transplanted in Mice

As the world of bioprinting becomes increasingly exciting, with new advancements happening on a regular basis, it’s difficult to determine just which company is furthest ahead.  Is it Organovo, the publicly traded company already working to create 3D printed mini kidneys with Australian researchers? Or is it one of the many research institutions making advancements in 3D printing ear drums, blood vessels, or carbon composites for bone regeneration?  If one had to choose, they might lean towards 3D Bioprinting Solutions, who successfully 3D printed a thyroid gland, classified as an “organ construct”.  And, today, news leaked that the Russian company had taken their research one step further, implanting a 3D printed thyroid into mice.

3D printed thyroid tissue from 3D Bio

Founded by Vladimir Mironov in 2013, 3D Bio uses a unique platform that involves bioprinting multiple tissues with a single system. While the full results of the study will be published next week, Dmitri Fadin, development director at 3D Bio, told Russia Beyond The Headlines that the company had fulfilled its promise to successfully implant 3D printed thyroid glands in mice. He says, “We had some difficulties during the study, but in the end the thyroid gland turned out to be functional.”  We’ll know more, hopefully next week, but, for now, we know that the bioficial gland was implanted once the team had, according to RBTH, “‘carved out’ a thyroid in the mice using radioactive iodine.” 

In his coverage of the original thyroid research, Davide explained that the bioficial organ construct would be used to treat hypothyroidism in mice suffering from an overabundance of iodine. With the new research, it’s possible that we’ll learn if this was examined and whether or not the bioficial thyroid could treat this condition.  If so, the firm may be able to begin work on ensuring that this technology is ready for humans and if we’ll see the first 3D printed organ implanted in a human sometime next year.  So far, 3D Bioprinting Solutions has never failed to deliver and I hope that they’ll continue to do so in the future.