Remember CELLINK? I discovered this Swedish startup when they launched the first third party commercial consumable for bioprinters. Since then, we have watched the company grow in a way that parallels the dynamics of the “traditional” low-cost 3D printing industry. The next step the launch of the low-cost, INKREDIBLE bioprinter, which may, in turn, pave the way to actual, commercial, bioprinting services aimed at bioengineering and regenerative medicine students. Now, the next logical step is to create an open source, easy to access, Thingiverse-style 3D model database. That is the new “Bioverse”.
“We have been working hard to get everything ready for the launch of the website and we are now ready for the beta launch of our Bioverse 3D bioprinting community,” says CELLINK’s Director of Operations Erik Gatenholm. “With the demand for our INKREDIBLE 3D Bioprinters going through the roof, we have decided to focus heavily on production and offer a limited time offer of signing up for the Bioverse community for free. The official launch of Bioverse will occur in February; however, customers who sign up right now will have access free of charge once the platform goes live.”
To sign up, all you have to do is visit the www.bioverse.co website and enter your email and name. A few days prior to the platform launching, these users will receive log-in information and instructions. CELLINK’s goal for Bioverse is to lay down the foundations for a global 3D bioprinting community, where professors, students, professional researchers, hobbyists, and companies operating in the field can meet up and exchange information.
“CELLINK started as the first commercial bioink company in the world and, today, we proudly offer the most universal and widely used bioink in the world, an excellent 3D Bioprinter, 3D bioprinting consumables, 3D bioprinting services, human cells in partnership with RoosterBio,” says Gatenholm. “Now, finally we have added the last missing piece to bring this all together: an online database/library of 3D CAD models of human organs and tissue models. Our goal is to provide complete solutions and packages to our customers with which they can fulfill all their bioprinting needs at one place.”
CELLINK is currently seeking partners to help the team expand the platform further, with more models and features. The project makes a lot of sense, since there really is nothing similar on the larger global scene and current 3D biomodel databases are generally closed or really hard to access and use. CELLINK developed its own Bioverse in response to a high amount of requests from customers asking for suitable CAD models to be bioprinted, as well as help with their systems. All clients essentially asked for the same thing: suitable objects to print for their tissue models along with protocols to be used.
“Just like architects rely on blueprints to share their designs with engineers and manufacturers, tissue engineering experts also require blueprints for creating anatomically relevant human tissues and organs in the lab,” CELLINK’s Dr. Hector Martinez adds, explaining why this platform could be so important to the scientific community. “Bioverse is designed with this concept in mind: provide a platform where basic and applied medical researchers and clinicians can meet to share blueprints of all types of tissues, organs and tissue analogues to advance the new era of medicine. For those of us in the bioprinting sphere, this is a platform that will allow us to put our collective expertise to the service of humanity.”
The 3D bioprinting field is emerging very quickly, however, there are still several areas that could be made easier and one of these areas are certainly standardized models and protocols. The Bioverse platform will offer bioprinting experts and beginners around the world with CAD models and protocols/procedures on how to print the structures with different cells. For instance, one of the CAD models will be for skin tissue models in 24 well plates, including recommended bioinks, optimal air pressure, and instructions for mixing the cells, etc.
“The goal with Bioverse is to provide the world with a self-sustainable community that allows users to upload and download models, discuss new and exciting bioprinting areas, and expand the global 3D bioprinting awareness,” Gatenholm concludes. “We also see the emerging need of surgeons and doctors wanting to print tissue models and organs so that they can evaluate defects and challenges for surgeries. Bioverse will also offer a section for regular 3D printing so that medical practitioners can utilize these models for the purpose of practicing surgical procedures.”
If Bioverse is anywhere as successful as Thingiverse (which is arguably the most successful product ever built by MakerBot), it will ignite a new era of accessibility for bioprinting. This might not mean we will be bioprinting replacement organs at home… Or will we?