OxSyBio, has announced a formal collaboration agreement with MRC Harwell to develop 3D printed tissues for basic research into disease biology. The partnership aims to bring these tissues to external researchers and partners in 2019, and help to increase the understanding of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
The combination of OxSyBio’s 3D printing methods and MRC Harwell’s deep knowledge of mammalian models of disease will make characterised and reproducible 3D printed living tissues available affordably and on-demand.
The partnership will prioritise metabolic diseases, with 3D models that will aid the study of diabetes and obesity. The joint team is creating a range of artificial tissues that can be used in conjunction with, and ultimately, in place of ‘gold standard’ animal derived tissues. These are created as ready-to-use 96-well format plates.
Hadrian Green, CEO of OxSyBio, commented: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with MRC Harwell, which supports our goal of making radical changes in the way diseases are treated and managed. As a business we rely on collaboration and partnership to bring our transformative science into the hands of the wider scientific community. We’re based in the heart of the Harwell Campus so it is great that we can be involved in this kind of innovative partnership right on our doorstep.”
The creation of these novel 3D models was facilitated and supported by the Harwell HealthTec Cluster Proof of Concept Grant Scheme earlier in 2018. This enabled researchers on both sides to explore whether automation of all the stages of production of the models was possible. The resulting technology indicates that could save decades every year in terms of laboratory time, freeing up scientists from exacting repetitive tasks, allowing them to accelerate other areas of their research.
Figure 1: describes the fabrication process involved in creating artificial 3D tissues developed by OxSyBio with MRC Harwell.
Professor Roger Cox from MRC Harwell commented: “This exciting collaboration with OxSyBio will allow us to develop and validate new 3D culture systems for the investigation of metabolic and other diseases. OxSyBio brings the expertise in developing the technology and large-scale reproducible production of printed tissues, while MRC Harwell can supply the biological and genetic expertise and material from models. Being near each other on the Harwell Campus is a tremendous benefit.”
Dr Barbara Ghinelli, Director, Harwell Campus and Cluster Development at STFC said: “Today’s announcement between MRC Harwell and OxSyBio is excellent news. Collaborating to develop 3D tissues for use in researching disease biology has far reaching implications for how we understand and better manage human health. As two key members of the Harwell HealthTec Cluster this development perfectly represents what we want to achieve with the Proof-of-Concept calls which is to kick-start innovation through private/ public collaboration in the Life Sciences sector.
“Looking ahead we will announce more Proof-of-Concept calls that will also encourage cross sector collaboration with the space and energy sectors to discover further innovative solutions that can be applied to address Life Sciences problems.”
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