personalized medicine

3D Bioprinting Replacement Heart Valves

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Throwing it back today to show you this heart valve that was 3d bioprinted using the Allevi 2 with collagen from Advanced BioMatrix.

Your heart has four valves (one for each chamber) that are made up of thin flaps of tissue called cusps. These flaps open and close to allow blood to move through the heart while beating.  The cusps attach to an outer ring of tougher tissue called the annulus. The annulus helps the valve maintain proper shape under the normal strains and stresses of a heartbeat. 

 
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It is essential that your valves open and close tightly to ensure proper blood flow through the heart and onto the rest of your body. A diseased or damaged valve can give you an irregular heartbeat and eventually lead to heart failure. More than 5 million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease every year.

 
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Many people can live with valve disease and do not require surgery. However, in some cases, the valve needs to be fixed or replaced. Current methods for replacing a damaged valve included plastic parts or animal tissues.

Allevi users are working towards a future where your #doctor is able to 3d bioprint a custom replacement valve from your own heart cells to reduce the rate of failure and rejection. 3D bioprinting is an amazing design tool that allows you to print custom geometries and tune the rheological properties to provide your cells with the support structure they need to do their job. Just another amazing way our users are changing the future of medicine. #buildwithlife #healwithlife

Allevi Named Fierce15 Class of 2018!

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We are so honored to be selected by FierceMedTech as one of their Fierce 15 MedTech Companies of 2018!

What really makes Allevi fierce is our amazing community of users who are using their Allevi bioprinters to revolutionize the way we model disease, test novel drugs, and study the body outside the body.

We're proud to empower Allevi users with the tools that will make tangible impacts on patients' lives. Together, we can change the future of medicine. Thank you, FierceMedTech, for your recognition!

You can read more here.

Cosmetic Animal Testing is on its Way Out

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The fight to ban animal testing recently scored a major victory when California became the first US state to pass a bill that would ban testing cosmetics on animals.

Companies conduct animal tests to determine the safety of new formulas used in cosmetic products. These tests include skin and eye irritation tests to study allergic reactions and “lethal-dose” testing to determine ingredient toxicity.

But these tests have scientific limitations because humans and animals react differently to certain chemicals. Therefore these tests, that are meant to study the safety of cosmetics before they touch human skin, aren’t even relevant.

Here at Allevi, we believe in the future of personalized cosmetic testing. Our 3D bioprinters allow researchers to customize every aspect of their study - including tissue shape, size, geometry and cell line. Imagine a world where drugs and cosmetics are no longer cruelly tested on animals, but tested on patches of human tissue. But not just any human’s tissue but YOURS because you are different from a rabbit and different from a monkey and even different from your fellow human.

We applaud California for following in the EU, Norway, Israel and India’s footsteps. It’s time we replace these outdated methods; not only because they are cruel to animals but because they are ineffective. Allevi is here to usher in a new era for a cruelty free and scientifically relevant future.

Allevi Author: UPenn bioprints custom nasal defects

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We're proud to bring you yet another #AlleviAuthor - this one from down the street at University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Chamith Rajapakse's Lab at UPenn focuses on the development and application of image guided 3D bioprinting for personalized clinical applications.

In his most recent publication, Dr. Rajapakse bioprinted a scaffold that precisely matched a patient’s nasal septal defect, in both size and shape using the Allevi 2 bioprinter. This serves as the first step in a major goal to create patient-specific tissue engineered grafts for NSP repair and beyond.

Here at Allevi, we envision a future of truly personalized medicine. The research by Dr. Rajapakse and his lab brings this future that much closer within the bone, cartilage and muscle tissue types.  One can being to imagine the future of being able to reconstruct cleft palates, nasal septal perforations, broken bones, torn ligaments, vertebrae and so much more.

Read on for the abstract and check out the full publication here.

Abstract: Nasal septal perforations (NSPs) are relatively common. They can be problematic for both patients and head and neck reconstructive surgeons who attempt to repair them. Often, this repair is made using an interpositional graft sandwiched between bilateral mucoperichondrial advancement flaps. The ideal graft is nasal septal cartilage. However, many patients with NSP lack sufficient septal cartilage to harvest. Harvesting other sources of autologous cartilage grafts, such as auricular cartilage, adds morbidity to the surgical case and results in a graft that lacks the ideal qualities required to repair the nasal septum. Tissue engineering has allowed for new reconstructive protocols to be developed. Currently, the authors are unaware of any new literature that looks to improve repair of NSP using custom tissue-engineered cartilage grafts. The first step of this process involves developing a protocol to print the graft from a patient's pre-operative CT.

In this study, CT scans were converted into STereoLithography (STL) file format. The subsequent STL files were transformed into 3D printable G-Code using the Slic3r software. This allowed us to customize the parameters of our print and we were able to choose a layer thickness of 0.1mm.  A desktop 3D bioprinter (Allevi 2) was then used to construct the scaffold.

This method resulted in the production of a PCL scaffold that precisely matched the patient’s nasal septal defect, in both size and shape. This serves as the first step in our goal to create patient-specific tissue engineered nasal septal cartilage grafts for NSP repair.