The Customer

Human organs and tissues are subject to traumatic injury, disease, or age related failure. The demand for transplantable replacements far exceeds supply. Overall, excluding suicide and direct injury or disease of the brain, deaths due to some manner of vital organ failure number nearly 2.6 million annually in the United States. Allogeneic organ transplantation could eliminate many of these deaths, extending lifespan and improving quality of life, but such transplantation is burdened by donor shortage, graft rejection and adverse effects of lifelong immune suppression. Developments in bioengineering and regenerative medicine could provide an alternative source of tissues and organs which do not suffer from these limitations.

The Value Proposition

Additive Manufacturing, or 3D printing, is transforming the manufacturing of consumer and industrial products. An even more far-reaching revolution

is on the near horizon – the 3D bio-printing of human tissues and organs. While the same basic concept can be employed, the techniques and materials for 3D bioprinting are very different. Tissues are complex structures comprising varied materials with properties suited to their function. Currently available materials and addition methods are not yet capable of replicating this complexity.


Nolen Ortho’s BioInk-TRL (Thermally Responsive Liposomal) will introduce a new class of dispensable bioinks, the materials used to form the structural and cellular components of engineered tissues. The novel BioInk-TRL technology will allow multiple distinct polymers to be 3D bioprinted simultaneously, a capacity lacking in the current state of the art. This simultaneous deposition will enable the creation of vascularized engineered tissues with diverse structural and cellular components.

The Innovation

To provide a plentiful supply of engineered tissues and organs, three strategies in development are:

  • Decellularization of allogenic or xenogeneic tissues and subsequent colonization of the resulting extra-cellular matrix (ECM) scaffold with patient-derived cells;
  • 3D printing of an acellular scaffold using a cytocompatible material and subsequent colonization with patient-derived cells; and
  • Simultaneous 3D printing of tissue scaffolding and patient-derived cells.


The techniques and materials currently available have prevented realization of engineered tissues with none yet approved for implantation within human patients. A key limitation is the inability to directly print multiple diverse polymers with differing properties and chemical compositions simultaneously.


Nolen Ortho BioInk-TRL is fundamentally novel and innovative over the current state of the art in that incorporation of chemical curing agent within thermally-activated liposomes suspended in a dispensable liquid polymer will allow the simultaneous deposition of diverse polymers with their associated curing agents and cellular payloads. Simultaneous deposition of multiple diverse bioinks is a necessary capability to achieve direct fabrication of the heterogeneous structures and cellular makeup of functional engineered tissues.



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