Medical & Dental

Aspect Biosystems receives $1M for “meaningful impact” of 3D bioprinting in healthcare

3D bioprinting technology company Aspect Biosystems was founded with the intention to have a “meaningful impact” on patient care. The company’s aim is to create human tissues on demand, and already it has developed a number of solutions to aid in research-level biofabrication.

Now, Aspect has earned the support of Canadian non-profit organization Genome British Columbia. In total, Genome BC has invested $1 million in Aspect to further the company’s commercialization initiatives. and develop its 3D bioprinting platforms.

“Genome BC is playing an instrumental role in accelerating British Columbia’s most promising life science innovations and we are thrilled to have their support,” comments Tamer Mohamed, Aspect’s President and CEO.

“With this additional financing, we are further increasing our capacity to meet key commercial demands and continuing our rapid growth as we work towards enabling the creation of human tissues on demand.”

3D printing tissues on demand

Aspect’s core technology is the Lab-on-a-Printer™ platform. A play on lab-on-a-chip research devices, Lab-on-a-Printer™ is, essentially, a 3D bioprinter powered by microfludics.

Each printhead in the Lab-on-a-Printer™  contains multiple, microscopic channels for the redirection of fluids, or inks. A unique technology, this platform enables the layering of multiple cell types to create 3D tissue structures.

One example of Lab-on-a-Printer™ application is Aspect’s 3DBioRing™ tissue, capable of mimicking the contraction and relaxation of human muscle.

“While we’re printing, we can switch between materials all in real-time,” explains Mohamed, “We can really start to create very intricate compositions and structures that are necessary to truly recreate what’s happening inside our body.”

The 3DBioRing™ muscle tissue platform. Photo via Aspect Biosystems
The 3DBioRing™ muscle tissue platform. Photo via Aspect Biosystems

A great deal of traction

Since its foundation in 2013, Aspect Biosystems has undertaken a a number of reputable projects within the industry, including a collaboration with the Fraunhofer institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine.

In 2017, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson entered into a partnership with Aspect Biosystems and have launched a project to create cartilage for the treatment of knee injuries. Recently, J&J also co-launched a specialist 3D bioprinting facility at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

Of the recent investment Dr. Tony Brooks, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President pf Entrepreneurship and Commercialization at Genome BC, said, “Aspect has shown significant commercial traction in a very short period of time and we are pleased to support their continued growth.”

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Featured image shows 3D bioprinted airway tissue. Photo via Aspect Biosystems