Vancouver biotechnology company Aspect Biosystems Ltd. has been awarded a C$450,000 grant by the National Research Council-Industry Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to advance the development of its Lab-on-a-Printer platform and associated 3D bioprinted tissue applications.
Aspect Biosystems’ proprietary 3D bioprinting technology platform can create living “Human Tissues on Demand” for broad applications in the life sciences, including fundamental biology, disease research, the development of novel therapeutics, and regenerative medicine.
“Specifically, the project aims to achieve break-through performance from our bioprinting system in terms of printed structure quality, complexity, and physiological relevance,” said Aspect Biosystems CTO Konrad Walus. “This will expand our ability to tackle the most important applications in fundamental biology and tissue engineering.”
Aspect’s platform technology is an entirely new way of 3D bioprinting, engineered specifically with the capacity to fabricate physiologically complex living tissue on demand.
Their Lab-on-a-printer technology allows unprecedented control for researchers over biomaterial composition and structure during tissue fabrication, enabling the rapid printing of macro-scale 3D structures incorporating micro-level details to generate architecturally and functionally accurate human tissues.
NRC-IRAP is a Canadian government-sponsored program that provides technical and business advisory services and financial contributions supporting the development and commercialization of innovative technologies developed by qualified firms.
The NRC-IRAP investment arrives at the same time as the company prepares to launch its Early Platform Access Program and to expand its partnerships.
Founded in 2013 as a collaboration between two research groups based in the departments of Engineering and Medicine at UBC, Aspect Biosystems’ platform enables advances in fundamental biological research, drug development through novel pre-clinical models, and regenerative medicine through the use of their 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering technology.
“NRC-IRAP has been very supportive of our ongoing research and development efforts and product innovation,” said Aspect Biosystems president and CEO Tamer Mohamed. “This additional funding will support us to strategically deploy our platform into world-class research labs and continue to develop a portfolio of high-value tissue applications.”
The company’s aim is to allow researchers to research and develop drugs faster and better, without the need for animal testing, and also to enable the creation of transplant organs, providing an option for the current model which relies solely on harvested organs for lifesaving medical procedures.
Aspect Biosystems won the Most Promising Startup award at the BC Tech Association’s 2016 Technology Impact Awards in June.