Biological Pick, Place, and Perfuse "BioP3" - Device to Engineer Thick Living Tissues with High Cell Density (Case 2220) (EA)

Engineering Thick Living Tissues with High Cell Density 

The ability to build organs in vitro will have a far-reaching impact on the field of tissue engineering, as well as other areas of research that use animals. Cells cultured in 3D mimic native tissues and organs much more effectively than do those cultured in 2D. While significant advances have been made in the field of bioprinting, we are still far from creating fully functional organs. One common limitation is the inability to create thick structures with sufficient density of cells. Our novel device is able to engineer thick tissues of high cell density.
Market Opportunity
Bio-printers (adapted inkjet printers) have had limited success printing 3D organs due to the complexity of creating sufficient cell density and thickness with appropriate perfusion. Bio-printers are also limited by slow throughput inherent in the small size/simplicity of their building materials as well as the vast number of building units that must be deposited. Off-the-shelf electronics-based pick-and-place instruments are also insufficient as cell manipulation requires an aqueous environment of cell culture medium. Microbiology instruments for picking bacterial colonies are also insufficient as they do not have the appropriate level of precision, would damage tissues, and cannot grip, let alone perfuse, a growing organ. Thus there is a need for a new type of pick-and-place device for engineering thick living tissues with high cell density.
Innovation and Meaningful Advantages
Our novel device assembles relatively large 3D tissues and organs layer-by-layer, using a controllable low-level suction head to pick up living microtissue building parts and place them onto other microtissue building parts in precise locations, while maintaining perfusion as the parts fuse and the living structure is built. This versatile building platform can grip multi-cellular building parts of any size, shape, or cell type. Our device can be used to construct complex 3D in vitro models of tissues of specified shape and size, to study various cellular and molecular events, as well as to understand the transport of drugs and small molecules. 

Collaboration Opportunity
We are interested in exploring 1) research collaborations with leading medical device companies to develop this technology; and 2) licensing opportunities with medical device companies.

Principal Investigator
Jeffrey Morgan, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Professor of Engineering
Brown University

IP Information
2017-08-26; US9771554B2; Issued.
Brown ID 2220J

Ip BC, Cui F, Tripathi A, Morgan JR. The bio-gripper: a fluid-driven micro-manipulator of living tissue constructs for additive bio-manufacturing. Biofabrication. 2016 May 25;8(2);025015. doi: 10.1088/1758-5090/8/2/025015.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Jeffrey Morgan
Anubhav Tripathi
William Patterson Iii
John Murphy
Andrew Blakely
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