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3D model of kidney heart and lung

Prellis Biologics Aims to Use 3D Printing to Treat Diabetes

3D printing is slowly gaining speed and getting ready to takeover the world. One the biggest industries utilizing the improved technology these days is healthcare. 3D printing is an innovative technology in hospitals and research labs across the country. Anything from modeling bones for surgery, to growing organs, 3D printing is doing it.  The new 3D bioprinting company, Prellis Biologics, is the latest company tackling health issues with a 3D printer.

Prellis Biologics was founded by Dr. Melanie Matheu and Dr. Noelle Mullin and the company is based out of San Francisco, CA. Only 10 months old, the duo and their two teammates have developed a way to create microvasculature. For those who don’t know that word, like me, they are the smallest systems of blood vessels in the body. Prellis Biologics isn’t the first company to print tissue and cells. But, they are the first to be able to keep the cells and tissue alive.

In order to create blood vessels, the team begins by procuring a special biological material. A specific type of cell can be created with stem cell technology and the biological material. Advanced 3d printing laser thecnology will then surround the cells with collagen scaffolding.

A mathematical representation of the cell is created through microscopic images. This code enables the lasers to do their job without harming the cell.This process enables the cells to take in oxygen and nutrients in order to stay alive. The tissues will grow and thicken and eventually turn into functioning organs.

The whole thing is a very complicated process. The team’s main goal was to get the blood vessels in order to feed organs. Now, Prellis Biologics aims to partner with other companies to advance research and development. The hopes are to enable 3D printed organs and tissue to advance drug development and fight disease.


laser 3D printing technology

Animated process of Prellis Biologics laser 3D printing technology.


Prellis Biologics 3D bioprinting technology sets it apart from competitors. It prints 100x to 1,000,000x times faster than current 3D technology. The laser printing is an inside-out layer-by-layer tissue creation process. As well, it is non-toxic and has a flexible, scalable, and reproducible production capacity.

Some of the material the company can create aims to benefit diabetics. the 3D printed tissue will be transplanted to the pancreas with the responsibility of insulin production. Animal studies will begin next year. But, printing full organs is still a few years away.

As other companies jump on board, the Prellis Biologics name and technology is getting more popular. The company secured their technology with three provisional patents. The two founders have successfully raised $1.8 million with the biggest contributor being True Ventures. This comes after raising another $250,000 through a 4 month stint with IndieBio accelerator.

Prellis Biologics seems to be on to something. They are ready to shakeup the world and shake it in a great way. If successful, this company will change many lives for the better.







News via: Prellis Biologics and  WSJ

Photo Credit: Prellis Biologics


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