A bio-printer designed and made in Timisoara is the first of its kind in Eastern Europe. It will be able to print organs, such as the kidneys or liver, for transplantation in humans in the future.
The 3D bio-printer was made by the specialists from Symme3D from Timisoara and works within OncoGen – Center for Genetic and Cellular Therapies in Cancer Treatment, a unique institute in Romania and in South-Eastern Europe, inaugurated a year ago.
“We are already working with the printer, we did the first cartilage tests with colleagues from OncoGen. We try to use, in addition to stem cells, which can be harvested only at birth, and epithelial cells, because they are the easiest cells to reprogram .
At the stage we are now, with this printer we can print large cartilaginous tissues, such as cartilage, ears, noses, because we do not have complex vascularization in them.
In the future, we want, once the performance of our machines increases, to move to large blood vessels and then to smaller and smaller vessels. When we have these vessels resolved, we will be able to move to complex human tissues, such as the skin, which is strongly vascularized.
In the future we will reach large organs, such as the liver or muscles, bones. We also reach organs such as the kidneys.
Besides the fact that we try to make these organs from epithelial cells taken from the sick patient, the risk of the organ rejecting the organ is zero, practically, because we are talking about cells from the same DNA, the same body, the same patient “, explained Calin Brandabur, the entrepreneur from Timisoara who, together with several colleagues, made the Symme3D bio-printer.
Read more about skin obtained from a 3D printer.
Doctor Virgil Paunescu, the OncoGen coordinator from Timisoara, says that the institute bought three 3D printers, including the one produced by Symme 3D, which is the best performing.
“The three printers are important to us and are part of OncoGen ‘s second line of research. One line of research is immunotherapy in cancer and allergies and the second is regenerative medicine.
In the case of regenerative medicine, we bought a 3D printer that can build structures that are populated with stem cells and you can get (…) blood vessels, ear, nose.
For now, we are far from transplanting these printed tissues. The first thing we want to do is blood vessels for rats. In order to see if the method and what we want to do is correct, we will work on animals, on rats “, explained the doctor Virgil Paunescu.
The coordinator of the OncoGen center in Timisoara says that, in the near future, a European project will be submitted, so that he can start these tests.
Personalized therapies for cancer
The OncoGen center also conducts research on personalized therapy for cancer patients, in collaboration with specialists from Symme3D, who have developed a unique bio-printer in Romania.
“If we have a patient suffering from cancer, instead of experimenting, offering them all the chemicals that exist, we can take the cancer cells and together with the healthy cells develop them in a 3D environment, treat them and to eliminate everything that is very harmful and dysfunctional during chemotherapy, so that the patient receives only the dose of medicine that is functional for him.
Observing which of the therapies works, we will be able to make personalized drug schemes, so that the chemotherapy is not so harmful “, underlines Calin Brandabur.
OncoGen is the only center of this type in the country, but also in Eastern Europe. Here, research with potential applicable in the field of advanced human stem cell therapies for obtaining products based on modern molecular biology technologies will be promoted.
The center will focus on several research directions: tumor cell biology, regenerative medicine, the study of adult stem cells, health and environmental factors and immunotherapies.
A mini-drug factory will also operate within the center.