Borrowing ideas from electronics manufacturing, the device called ‘The Bio-Pick, Place, and Perfuse’ (BioP3) builds large tissues from living components of three-dimensional micro-tissues containing thousands to millions of living cells.
“Because it allows assembly of larger structures from small living micro-tissue components, future versions of BioP3 may finally make possible the manufacture of whole organs such as liver, pancreas or kidney,” said one of the lead researchers Jeffrey Morgan, professor at Brown University. “For us it is exciting because it is a new approach to building tissues, potentially organs, layer by layer with large, complex living parts,” Morgan added.
With the device, the team made structures with a variety of cell types including H35 liver cells, KGN ovarian cells, and even MCF-7 breast cancer cells. “In contrast to 3-D bioprinting that prints one small drop at a time, our approach is much faster because it uses pre-assembled living building parts with functional shapes and a thousand times more cells per part,” Morgan said.