GE Healthcare, ASLS form R&D partnership to advance 3D biofabrication

GE Healthcare Life Sciences has joined forces with Advanced Solutions Life Sciences (ASLS) for an R&D and distribution partnership with a goal to create new opportunities for regenerative tissue manufacturing by advancing the field of 3D biofabrication.

The companies said that the integration of IN Cell Analyzer and BioAssemblyBot systems technologies will embed cellular-level evaluations into the 3D-bioprinting workflow used for creating human tissue models.

Bioprinted tissues, which are small in size, die quickly because of an inability to engineer small blood vessels. The Angiomics technology from Advanced Solutions Life Sciences is said to enable bioprinted microvessels to self-assemble into functional capillary beds, which provide nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to the 3D tissue model and eliminate waste.

The partnership between the two companies is expected to enable life scientists and tissue engineers to quickly design, develop and image living, vascularized 3D tissues in a single, agile process.

An integrated 3D bioprinter + confocal scanner (BioAssemblyBot + GE IN Cell Analyzer 6500 HS)

An integrated 3D bioprinter + confocal scanner (BioAssemblyBot + GE IN Cell Analyzer 6500 HS). Photo courtesy of Business Wire.

Emmanuel Abate – General Manager of Genomics & Cellular Research at GE Healthcare Life Sciences said: “Printing multi-material 3D objects inside of microwell plates allows scientists to efficiently move away from traditional 2D monocultures on plastic, to 3D discovery and cytotoxicity models that more accurately reflect native biology and disease.

“By combining this flexibility and precision of the BioAssemblyBot with the image quality and speed of the IN Cell Analyzer 6500 HS confocal screening platform, the prospect of automating high content screening in 3D models can become a reality.”

As of now, biopharmaceutical companies evaluate their drugs in 2D models and animal models, said the partners. Precise 3D models offer a more physiologically relevant environment for drug testing as they mimic human reactions.

Michael Golway – President and CEO of Advanced Solutions Life Sciences said: “The power of both of these platforms brings a new level of efficiency, speed and quality with assay designs and 3D biofabrication.”

Conventional 3D bioprinters are not designed for quality or interoperability with the high-throughput screening methods used by pharmaceutical developers to identify drug candidates. The partnership is expected to create a new product to address the challenge by integrating GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ IN Cell Analyzer confocal imaging platform with IN Carta cell analysis software, and Advanced Solutions Life Sciences’ BioAssemblyBot 3D bioprinter with TSIM design software.

The partners say that moving from the conventional stage-gate testing processes to a lean, agile workcell for 3D tissue fabrication and assessments will reduce development timelines for pharma companies.

The integration between IN Cell Analyzer and BioAssemblyBot is said to facilitate the automated inclusion of cellular imaging information into the tissue modeling process to help new therapies to be scaled more effectively and quickly.

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