Creating human tissues by printing 3D laser: in Pessac, in the southwest of France, the young company Poietis has developed a promising technology that already reproduce skin.
for the three-dimensional printing, which allows the creation of a volume by stacking layers, has opened many fields of experimentation, including for researchers on living.
To date, four technologies “bio-printing” coexist. But Poeitis (from the Greek “manufacture) is for now the only one in the world, according to its initiators, to” print “of living matter with laser light.
” The laser has several advantages. It allows, by its very high definition, reproduce the full complexity of the tissues, with a very high accuracy. It also ensures the viability of cells in height from 95 to 100%, “says the young entrepreneur.
But how few are we going to cultured cells to the complexity of a real functional tissue?
“with the laser, the printer deposited microdroplets containing cell layer by layer, according to a predefined template computer and inspired by existing tissues, “explains Fabien Guillemot, whose company has filed three patent families.
These digital models, fully developed by Poietis allow not only to organize the cells initially but also to anticipate how they will interact in time. “with an accuracy of about 20 microns (thousandths of a millimeter, Ed), about the maximum size a cell, laser guides the self-organization of cells, “explains the researcher. Three weeks to reproduce the skin.
For now, the company, which has about twenty employees (biologists, optical engineers, IT specialists …), uses two printers developed with Inserm and Alphanov laboratory, very advanced in laser technology.
But it is already working on developing its own printing tool, which should be operational within two years, according to projections.
If the goal is to Poietis its products can eventually be used in the medical field to tissue repair, the company initially based its development on the enormous potential of testing in cosmetics and pharmaceutical research.
“That is why we first worked on the skin, it is a real opportunity for development,” says the entrepreneur, who has signed a strategic partnership with global giant chemistry, German BASF, supplier of ingredients for cosmetics.
The challenge is all the greater that animal testing for cosmetics is banned since 2013 in the European Union. For pharmaceutical research, it is reproduced as “healthy skin” as “pathological skin.”
The company, which has just completed a capital increase of 1.2 million euro – including one million crowdfunding – account validate its first products to market and from the centers of research and testing by 2017.
in the medical field, it will be more patient. Poietis considering making skin grafts, totally assimilated by the graft as made from its own cells by about ten years.
But experiments conducted in a laboratory INSERM already open other horizons. Tests on an injured mouse skull showed how bio-laser printing could contribute to bone repair directly on the subject.
In this perspective, reproductive organs, in context of increasingly personalized medicine, no longer seems a chimera. But behind the technological revolution opens a dizzying ethical questions.
“We set a boundary,” said Fabien forthright Guillemot. “We limit ourselves to tissue repair and not for the increase or improvement.”