Aleph partners with FluidForm to print organs

LOVELAND —  Aleph Objects Inc., a Loveland-based 3D printer developer, has partnered with startup company FluidForm Inc. to develop techniques to 3D print organs and other biological material.

The partnership combines Aleph’s LulzBot printer technology with FluidForm’s printing techniques using bioinks and other materials. FluidForm is a Pennsylvania-based company that in 2018 spun out from Carnegie Mellon University. The two companies expect their first products by summer of this year.

“Combining proven expertise in professional 3D printers and hardware with 3D biofabrication technology is going to be an absolute game-changer,” Grant Flaharty, CEO and president of Aleph, said in a statement announcing the collaboration.

Adam Feinberg, CEO of FluidForm, echoed that sentiment. “We’re still at the very beginning of being able to build real functional tissues with 3D bioprinting. Collaborations like the one we are building with LulzBot will help make this a reality faster,” he said.

Creating organs suitable for transplant long has been the holy grail of the biotechnology industry, and the work of these two companies is not alone in the industry. A report in Singularity Hub discusses the main barrier to creating workable organs, namely creation of organs that contain functional capillaries to move blood and oxygen through the tissue.

The YouTube video that Aleph uses in its announcement shows printing of an artery.

The process the companies will use employs a non-newtonian gel in which to imprint the organ. A non-newtonian gel is one that doesn’t follow Newton’s law of viscosity and will change viscosity under force. Ketchup and blood, for example, are non-newtonian fluids.

The gel can be traversed by a needle — the hot head of the LulzBot printer will be replaced by a needle. Yet the gel will support a biosolid deposited in or on it.  The organ will be printed in the gel, cured, and then the gel will be melted away with heat.

The gel becomes the scaffold for creation of the printed tissue.

In addition to ultimately permitting creation of organs for transplant or in regenerative medicine, the technology is likely to be used in the pharmaceutical industry or the cosmetic industry to replace animal testing.

Flaharty said this particular niche of the 3D printing industry is expected to be worth about $1.9 billion within nine years.

LOVELAND —  Aleph Objects Inc., a Loveland-based 3D printer developer, has partnered with startup company FluidForm Inc. to develop techniques to 3D print organs and other biological material.

The partnership combines Aleph’s LulzBot printer technology with FluidForm’s printing techniques using bioinks and other materials. FluidForm is a Pennsylvania-based company that in 2018 spun out from Carnegie Mellon University. The two companies expect their first products by summer of this year.

“Combining proven expertise in professional 3D printers and hardware with 3D biofabrication technology is going to be an absolute game-changer,” Grant Flaharty, CEO and president of Aleph, said in a statement announcing the collaboration.

Adam Feinberg, CEO of FluidForm, echoed that sentiment. “We’re still at the very beginning of being able to build real functional tissues with 3D bioprinting. Collaborations like the one we are building with LulzBot will help make this a reality faster,” he said.

Creating organs suitable for transplant long has been the holy grail of the biotechnology industry, and the work of these two companies is not alone in the industry. A report in Singularity Hub discusses the main barrier to creating workable organs, namely creation of organs that contain functional capillaries to move blood and oxygen through the tissue.

The YouTube video that Aleph uses in its announcement shows printing of an artery.

The process the companies will use employs a non-newtonian gel in which to imprint the organ. A non-newtonian gel is one that doesn’t follow Newton’s law of viscosity…