Three tech companies -Techshot Inc, nScrypt and Bioficial Organs Inc – undertook a test flight above the Gulf of Mexico on June 14 in a partnership. The test flight was carried out through the ZERO-G craft, the only FAA-approved weightless fight provider in the US. The project was focused towards creating the world’s first 3D printed structures of cardiac and vascular zero gravity using adult human stem cells.
For the test, the companies used techshot5A, a 3D bioprinter designed to work in space. During the test flight, each company demonstrated how their latest technologies can be used to bioprint human tissues as well as organs in space. Techshot Inc is one of the contractors of NASA, nScrypt Inc is a manufacturer of industrial 3D bioprinter and electronics printer, and Bioficial Organs Inc is a developer of bioink. Bioficial Organs Inc’s proprietary bioink formulation is popular for storing adult human stem cells alive and viable for organ transplantation.Bioficial Organs’ President and CEO, Stuart Williams believes that the space-based bioprinter can play a vital role in advancing human healthcare (3DPB.com).
The partnership led by, Techshot, will use the data thus collected during the test to continue to create viable, transplantable human organs. The test was focused towards finding long-term solutions for the future when space travel will become a necessity. The findings of the test demonstrate that in the future it would be possible to bioprint human tissues and organs in the space by using adult human stem cells.
As the second step of the partnership, the companies intend to create next generation of the bioprinter that would be more advanced and has a smaller footprint.Techshot is also eyeing to launch a commercial Blue Origin suborbital space capsule, where it would operate separately. The launch of the capsule is expected to take place in January 2017— before the commencement of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2018. The bioprinter planned for the ISS is expected to print thicker, more complex tissues.