As with more traditional 3D printing technologies, an important part of bioprinting is the 3D printing material, meaning that there will be significant business opportunities for suppliers of biomatter for 3D printing, just as there is with the bioprinting process itself. For that reason, CELLINK and Rooster Bio teamed up to sell CELLINK’s affordable bioprinter and Rooster Bio’s biomaterials. That’s also why bioprinting firm Organovo has today announced that the launch of their subsidiary Samsara Sciences, Inc., which has begun commercial operations to provide human liver cells for in vivo and in vitro research applications.
Samsara will be the source for primary human liver cells for Organovo, as it explores bioprinting for preclinical and therapeutic tissue research, giving the company a direct supply chain for biomatter. At the same time, Samsara will be able to provide those cells to Organovo’s customers as a bioprinting materials supplier. This also ensures that Organovo can maintain quality control over the materials associated with its operations.
Working closely with Dr. Tatiana Kisseleva, liver cell biology expert, and her laboratory at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the subsidiary will begin by offering a selection of hepatic stellate cells, which are significant in the development of fatty liver disease, fibrosis, and other widespread illnesses. Samsara’s customers will have access to the subsidiary’s protocols associated with cryopreservation, as well as their complementary services of providing tissue sections, nucleic acids, and gene expression information. And, through their distribution channels, human hepatocytes will also be available.
Dr. Sharon Presnell, President of Samsara Sciences and Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Research & Development, Organovo, said of the firm’s work, “The Samsara team shares a passion for cells and is dedicated to providing the high-quality, well-characterized cellular reagents that are required to support the future of biological research and tissue products. Our ultimate vision is to supply a comprehensive portfolio of tissue-specific cells that are tailored for use in the production of the multi-cellular 3D tissues that are poised to change the landscape of drug discovery and regenerative medicine.”
Organovo CEO Keith Murphy adds, “Cell supply and quality are critical to meeting Organovo’s goal to change the shape of medical research and practice, including our desire to create a bioprinted liver patch for transplant. I’m grateful to the team at Samsara and its key collaborators and scientific advisors for enabling us to develop this high-quality cell source, and to offer it to other researchers through Samsara’s commercial efforts.”
This news supports Gartner’s prediction that bioprinting and medical 3D printing are ramping up towards the hype cycle peak. Such a subsidiary as Samsara is a natural, even organic development for Organovo and we’ll likely see even more such businesses spring up to support the numerous bioprinting efforts taking place worldwide. It’s interesting to think that Samsara, in Buddhism, represents the endless cycle of existence in which we’re all currently trapped, as an endless supply of human tissues could allow us to, one day, live forever. But will such bioprinting science also allow us to escape Samsara and achieve Nirvana? Who knows, but you can go over to their website and order some Primary Human Hepatocytes to have your mind blown.