Today - at this point in time - we can take this step in regenerative medicine to influence the future of mankind.—Chuck Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems and inventor of 3D printing
More than 35 years ago, 3D Systems created the innovation of 3D printing and reimagined the approaches and processes for product development, parts manufacturing, and personalized healthcare through additive manufacturing solutions. Now, we are leveraging this experience to innovate bioprinting technologies to transform patient care. By enabling the fabrication of living tissues, our bioprinting portfolio will unlock the promise and potential — to drive research, develop new therapeutics, and improve patient lives.
Empowering 3D Bioprinting Research to Drive Innovation
The research community is critical to developing ground-breaking biological applications. 3D Systems provides an accessible technology platform comprising biomaterials and bioinks, bioprinters, bioprinting software, expertise, and services that enables researchers to study regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.
The foundation of this industry-leading platform is the Allevi by 3D Systems bioprinting portfolio. This robust set of solutions is used by researchers and industry giants in hundreds of labs globally to facilitate the development of novel bioinks, 3D cell culture scaffolds, and tissue and disease models.
Accelerating Drug Discovery & Development
On average, it takes 12 years1 and $2.6 billion2 to get a drug from discovery through FDA approval. However, even after all this time and money is spent on successful preclinical studies, 9 out of 10 drugs fail in clinical trials1. One of the reasons for this unfortunate statistic is the current standard for drug testing — cells in Petri dishes and animals — which are not representative of human physiology, hence frequently leading to false positives.
To address this challenge in a high-growth market, 3D Systems formed a wholly owned company called Systemic Bio™ that is focused on the application of advanced bioprinting technologies to pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. Leveraging 3D Systems’ breakthrough, production-level bioprinting technology, Systemic Bio’s team of bioengineers creates extremely precise vascularized organ models using biomaterials and human cells. These proprietary organs-on-chips known as h-VIOS™ can be manufactured reproducibly in large quantities, and then perfused with any desired drug compound to study drug metabolism and the effects on healthy or diseased human tissues at the earliest stages of new pharmaceutical drug development.
Improving Patients’ Lives
3D Systems’ additive manufacturing solutions are transforming how healthcare is delivered. We’ve produced more than 2,000,000 serial component medical devices and 140,000 patient-specific surgical cases. Now we’re leveraging this expertise to develop patient-specific functioning 3D-printed organs and tissues to improve patient lives. Our Print to Perfusion™ process enables 3D printing of high-resolution scaffolds, which can be perfused with living cells to create tissues. Through the combination of bioprinting technology, biocompatible 3D printing materials, and a broad range of cell types including patient-derived cells, we can construct patient-specific living tissues.
Driven by United Therapeutics Corporation and its organ manufacturing and transplantation-focused subsidiary, Lung Biotechnology PBC, we achieved significant progress in the development of next-generation bioprinting solutions for lung scaffolds that are capable of full-size, vascularized, rapid, micron-level printing. 3D Systems’ capabilities as a technology innovator, spanning hardware, software, and materials science, combined with United Therapeutics’ renowned expertise in organ manufacturing and regenerative medicine, has enabled advances in lung modeling, 3D printing, as well as material formulation and material handling to yield significant capabilities in bioprinters and biomaterials for the eventual production of transplantable lungs and other human solid organs.
Read more about how United Therapeutics is working to develop 3D printed lungs