Cells for Cells, a cell therapy- and tissue engineering- focused company, announces that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted the company a US patent covering the AUTOMATED FABRICATION OF LAYER-BY-LAYER TISSUE ENGINEERED COMPLEX TUBES (US20180304502).
The novel approach comprises the use of a robot. It can achieve precise geometrical, mechanical and biological personalization of tissue-like conduits thanks to the controlled and automated deposition at high resolution of biomaterials, nanofibers and cells in a unique and rapid one-step fabrication procedure. The personalized tubes manufactured through this patented technology possess a multilayer structure that resembles the anatomy of tissue conduits that are replaced in the treatment of a multitude of different pathologies. Examples of applications that can benefit from these novel tissue conduits include arteries and veins, urethra and intestinal tissues. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Tissue Engineering 2018-2028: Technologies, Markets, Forecasts and Innovations in Robotic Surgery 2020-2030: Technologies, Players & Markets..
Typically, the production of Tissue Engineered Products requires multiple steps that go from scaffold fabrication to cell seeding, maturation in bioreactors, and, ultimately, packaging, making the manufacturing of such solutions a long and inefficient process, which is, moreover, expensive and difficult to standardize. "These manufacturing issues have been pointed out in the last years as the main drawbacks that are keeping advanced tissue engineered medical solutions commercially unfeasible and away from the clinical reality," says Dr. Juan Pablo Acevedo, the lead investigator of the graft project, at Cells for Cells.
The approach, which has been highlighted in Nature communication , a prominent peer-reviewed scientific journals (Akentjew et al. 2019), allows for scalable tissue conduits to be ready to implant in less than an hour with guaranteed standardization and quality.
This solved for the first time technical and commercial issues of the field and makes possible the quick manufacturing of very-needed tissue conduits near the point of treatment.
"This is one of the most exciting projects harbored within our company portfolio, it stands at the intersection of tissue engineering, cell therapy, biomaterials and robotics. We have a multidisciplinary team tapping in the brainpower of each other to bring these tubular grafts closer to patients," discloses, Dr. Maroun Khoury, Chief Scientific Officer, of Cells for Cells.
The preclinical results in large animal models are looking positive, but nothing should be assumed and further evidence is being generated to fully assess the potential of the personalized vascular graft technology before initiating its testing in a first-in-human clinical trial.
1. Akentjew, T.L., Terraza, C., Suazo, C. et al. Rapid fabrication of reinforced and cell-laden vascular grafts structurally inspired by human coronary arteries. Nat Commun 10, 3098 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11090-3
Bioinspired graft containing stem cells embedded within nanofibers and manufactured within 45 minutes
Structural and microscopic photography of the engineered vessels showing embedded stem cells in green
Source: Cells for Cells
Top image shows: Cells for Cells team fabricating the bioinspired graft using an automated system, "Novoa '