Israeli company makes strides towards 3D printing of human organs for transplants

Collplant, an Israeli regenerative-medicine company, has entered a new stage of development towards enabling 3D printing of life-saving human organs.

Collagen is a protein that strengthens and supports many tissues in the body, such as cartelage, skin, bone and tendon.  Collplant products are based on its proprietary rhCollagen (recombinant human collagen), a protein that they genetically engineered by combining human genes and tobacco plant DNA to create collagen-making tobacco plants.

Based on this new kind of collagen, the company has already developed tissue-repair products for orthopedic problems and wound care – and now has a biological ink that they say could be used for 3D printing of tissues and organs.

Although the BioInk has been formulated for skin, orthopedics, ophthalmology, heart and lung, the company announced that their ink will be used first for the printing of life-saving organs that could be used for transplantation.

According to Collplant’s website, their researchers have chemically modified their collagen so that instead of gelling, like unmodified collagen, their BioInk remains fluid during printing. The ink’s special properties enable the printing of 3D artificial organs with controlled physical and biological properties.

Collplant has already filed a patent application in the USA for the BioInk, and last month it signed a first supply agreement with an unnamed “large biotechnology company.” On Sunday, the company announced a six-month work plan for the development of an orthopedic implant prototype using its bio-ink, in partnership with “one of the leading medical devices company in the world.”

The announcement came within two weeks of foreign investment company Alpha Capital Partners investing some $5 million in the company. CollPlant’s share price has doubled since the report, reflecting a current market cap of NIS 85 million.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News