The Allevi Academy

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By Lauren McLeod, Bioengineer: 

Here at Allevi, we’re always looking to the future - how to prepare for future challenges, how to revolutionize and improve on current research and methodologies...but sometimes it’s necessary to reflect on the past.  We took some time to think about the education experiences that got us to where we are today. Most of us conjured up memories of an impressionable teacher, exciting project, or even an awesome field trip that sparked an excitement for learning and science.  We thought to ourselves, “Why not have bioprinting be the seed of students’ excitement and learning for the field of bioengineering?”

We’re excited to announce the launch of The Allevi Academy- the first step in preparing today’s students for the regenerative medicine challenges of the future!  We partnered with high school teachers, university professors, and educators across the world to produce the best, most streamlined and accessible curriculum possible to arm teachers with the materials and resources needed to introduce their students to bioprinting.  

Through our curriculum, students gain experience with cutting edge biotechnology, putting them light years ahead of their peers as they enter college and the workforce.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, bioengineers hold the third fastest growing job in the United States, with a projected ten year growth of 61.7% by 2020. Our curriculum gives students a competitive advantage in this burgeoning field.

The curriculum enables students to develop valuable skills across multiple engineering disciplines. Included activities incorporate coding, computer aided design, engineering drawings and 3D fabrication to produce innovative solutions for situations modeled after real life tissue engineering challenges. From designing and prototyping hydrogel wound coverings, to vascularization channels for organ on a chip applications, students learn to problem solve and think critically- skills that span way beyond the field of bioengineering.

       -    All inclusive
       -    Easy to use
       -    Satisfies Next Generation Science 
       -    Satisfies National Science Education Standards
       -    Hands on
       -    Real world applications
       -    Adaptable

Check out The Allevi Academy and learn how you can prepare students for the future of STEM and provide them with the tools they need to tackle the challenges of the future!

Print Alive, Print Allevi

Allevi Author: Tohoku University Images Cell Activity in Hyrdrogels

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One of the most rewarding “AHA” moments of bioprinting is seeing your cells proliferate within a 3D tissue. As 3D bioprinting becomes more widely adopted within the fields of tissue engineering and personalized medicine, it is important that researchers have the ability to monitor cell activity within in a 3D structure AFTER the print is finished.

Our most recent Allevi Authors have tackled the method of electrochemically monitoring a tissue in their new paper out in the Analytical Sciences Journal titled, “Electrochemical Imaging of Cell Activity in Hydrogels Embedded in Grid-Shaped Polycaprolactone Scaffolds Using a Large-scale Integration (LSI)-based Amperometric Device”.

In their paper, researchers from Tohoku University in Japan use their Allevi 2 bioprinter to print PCL scaffolds as a support material for photocured hydrogels. They then used an amperometric device to electrochemically monitor the living cells. Through their study, they were able to determine that electrochemical imaging is a great way to monitor cell differentiation and will be useful for evaluating the viability of thicker bioprinted tissues.

Congratulations to the Tohoku University researchers on their findings!

Announcing Our Newest Bioink Kit - The Allevi Vascularization Kit

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One of the challenges within tissue engineering is creating thick tissues. Why is that? To date it has been challenging to add vascularization to 3D printed tissues. 

Vascularization is our body's highway system. Networks of veins reach each cell to deliver fresh oxygen and nutrients, and remove waste and carbon dioxide. This vascular network is essential for organ function.

The challenge within tissue engineering has been to replicate these networks, but even more so… to design them. We have been limited in our bioprinted tissue's thickness because it has been difficult to create these highways in the lab. ....Until now.

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We are excited to launch the Allevi Vascularization Kit that empowers you to replicate some of the most complex vascular trees in an easy way. It enables you to create cm thick tissues in an automated, standardized fashion and allows your thick tissues to live for weeks.

Vascularization is foundational to begin studying, and replicating the body outside the body in a more accurate way. We are excited to provide you with a cornerstone application within the Allevi platform to help you find solutions to humanity's most difficult problems.

Allevi Joins Johnson&Johnson's JPOD Philadelphia Community

As new applications continue to be developed within the Allevi community, we feel the responsibility to join larger ecosystems that connect us with more engineers, scientists, and physicians that can benefit from the power of Allevi’s solutions. Our first successful relationship with a broader ecosystem has been with VWR. They continue to help us introduce our platform to accelerate science around the world. Adding geometry to biology is becoming a standard to be able to generate accurate representations of the body outside the body. 

At Allevi, we are now ready to begin to understand how to translate our communities’ scientific discoveries into the breakthroughs of tomorrow. To do this we realize that we need to co-create solutions with those at the front lines who are bringing new drugs to market, fighting diseases at the bedside, and producing novel solutions for the healthcare system.

Therefore, we are excited to join the Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS JPOD @ Philadelphia community. We believe access to this ecosystem helps us connect with those who understand how Allevi’s applications can serve the healthcare industry. These interactions will guide our community today and in the future. Together we can target healthcare’s biggest needs by creating more accurate, predictable 3D biology models.

As we continue to collaborate with the Johnson & Johnson Innovation community, we will look forward to receiving mentorship, brainstorming with great minds in the industry, and continuing to grow Allevi. It takes a village to raise a company and we are happy to have the JLABS village help us reach new heights.

Dr. Robert Langer Joins the A-Team

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At Allevi, we believe that the democratization of bioprinting can help millions lead longer and healthier lives. By empowering scientist to make complex, relevant, personalized 3D tissues so many breakthroughs will be achieved within healthcare and humanity. And we are at the heart of catalyzing this change.

We have already seen so much success from our users bringing to life new ideas. They have shown us how patterning cells and biomaterials in new ways can generate scientific results unseen before. For example, Dr. Binatta Joddar from the University of El Paso Texas published how the difference between lattice and rectangular sheet structures matter for cardiac tissue engineering. On that same note, Dr. Parr and Dr. McAlpine from The University of Minnesota published how the specific placement of iPS neuron cells in relation to supporting cells matters to achieve relevant spinal cord tissue engineering. And these are just a few examples out of the multitude of papers being created by Allevi products.

As Allevi’s publication list grows, we are excited to begin to understand how we can translate these relevant scientific results into impactful products for the benefit of patients. However, we understand that to help millions in the future we have to continue learn from those who have helped millions in the past.

Therefore, we are excited to announce Dr. Robert Langer has joined our Scientific Advisory Board to teach us the fundamentals of how he has translated so many breakthroughs to patients and created new industries. Dr. Langer a Professor at MIT, has helped start several biotechnology companies, has licensed or sub-licensed over 350 patents to different companies and runs one of the largest bioengineering research labs in the world. “I’m delighted to be working with Allevi and their excellent team,” stated Dr. Langer.

We will work closely with Dr. Robert Langer as well as our other amazing advisors, Dr. Anthony Atala, Dr. Yu Shrike Zhang, and Dr. Aleksander Skardal to understand the best way to translate breakthroughs in our bioprinting community to begin to directly help patients at the bedside.