Sciperio aims to bioprint human blood
What if we could bioprint human blood? This is the project of Sciperio, the research segment of micro 3D printing equipment manufacturer nScrypt. Together with partners such as Safi Biosolutions and the Geneva Foundation, the American company hopes to facilitate blood supply worldwide. In the United States, it’s estimated that 111 million citizens are eligible blood donors, representing more or less 37% of the population. However, less than 10% of the eligible blood donors donate annually. The project is only just starting however – Sciperio announced that it will use nScrypt’s SmartPump technology, a process that allows materials to be deposited very precisely on a microscopic scale, and a bioreactor to produce the blood. Over time, the hope is that their technology can be scaled up to bioprint blood on a larger scale.
The aim of bioprinting is to design cell structures capable of performing the same functions as those we have today, and for these structures to survive inside our bodies. Many projects are aimed at creating functional and viable human organs, be it a liver or a kidney, or even a heart. Little by little, 3D technologies are advancing, showing a future full of promise for the medical sector. Sciperio is part of this dynamic by focusing on bioprinted blood. The project will undoubtedly take many years – we already know that the first step will be devoted to defining a precise roadmap with already 8.8 million dollars invested.
Sciperio explains that it first envisioned an automated bioreactor filled with sensors for accurate feedback and real-time monitoring. This is the machine that will be used to make the blood. Next, the company will use nScrypt’s SmartPump to microscopically dispense ingredients in very precise quantities into the bioreactor, mainly growth promoters. This will allow cells to grow and differentiate. It is this step that calls for additive manufacturing technology: the SmartPump is in fact a microprinting head with picoliter volume control. Its nozzle measures barely 10 microns in diameter.
Dr Ken Church, CEO of nScrypt and Sciperio adds: “There are so many interesting aspects and benefits of blood biomanufacturing, including the ultimate benefit to mankind. Starting with just a few cells, our bioreactor will produce billions of cells, a necessary condition for patient transfusion. We believe that this project will one day provide a constant source of safe, affordable, on-demand blood, made where and when it’s needed.” It will probably take a few more years before this project is completed, but the beginning is promising! Find more information HERE.
What do you think of this project? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Sign up for our free weekly Newsletter to receive all the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox!