Robot Skin 3D Printer Close to First-in-Human Clinical Trials
In just two years a robotic device that prints a patient’s own skin cells directly onto a burn or wound could have its first-in-human clinical trials. The 3D bioprinting system for intraoperative skin regeneration developed by Australian biotech start-up Inventia Life Science has gained new momentum thanks to major investments from the Australian government and two powerful new partners, world-renowned burns expert Fiona Wood and leading bioprinting researcher Gordon Wallace .
Codenamed Ligō from the Latin “to bind”, the system is expected to revolutionize wound repairs by delivering multiple cell types and biomaterials rapidly and precisely, creating a new layer of skin where it has been damaged. The novel system is slated to replace current wound healing methods that simply attempt to repair the skin, and is being developed by Inventia Skin , a subsidiary of Inventia Life Science.
“When we started Inventia Life Science, our vision was to create a technology platform with the potential to bring enormous benefit to human health. We are pleased to see how fast that vision is progressing alongside our fantastic collaborators. This Federal Government support will definitely help us accelerate even faster,” said Dr. Julio Ribeiro, CEO, and co-founder of Inventia.
Seeking to support Australia’s biomedical and medical technology sector, the Australian government announced it will invest AU$1 million (US$723,085) to supercharge the Ligõ 3D bioprinting system for regenerating skin. The project is one of 21 initiatives to receive support from the Federal Government’s BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) program, operated by MTPConnect , a non-profit organization aiming to accelerate the rate of growth of the medical technologies, biotechnologies, and pharmaceuticals sector in Australia.
Late in July 2020, Australia’s Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt announced that the program’s funding is expected to move the device faster into first-in-human clinical trials. Separately, the team also received funding from the Medical Research Future Fund Stem Cell Therapies Mission to collaborate with stem cell expert Pritinder Kaur from Curtin University , in Perth, to use the Ligō device to deliver stem cell-based products that could improve skin regeneration.
According to Inventia, the skin is the first point of injury in accidents and some diseases and, when significantly damaged, it heals slowly, usually leaving a scar. Moreover, throughout the regeneration process, it is open to infection, a major problem in the body’s first protective barrier, and a good enough reason to find new ways to speed up the healing process.
Focusing energies on creating a robot capable of printing tiny droplets containing the patient’s skin cells and biomaterials directly on the wound gave Inventia the potential to recreate functional and aesthetically normal skin. Moreover, the researchers behind the Ligõ technology suggest...