The Belgian start-up, called BIO INX BV, focuses on the development and commercialization of innovative materials for the 3D printing of cells and tissues. It originates from the XPECT INX project from Ghent University and is now rebranding to BIO INX during incorporation. Their unique materials technology with a specific focus on high-resolution printing technologies can be key to further boosting the application potential of 3D bioprinting for regenerative medicine applications.
The world of cell culture, regenerative medicine and biomedical research are changing rapidly. For decades, 2D cell culture in petri dishes has been the standard approach. However, 2D cell cultures often provide an oversimplification of the actual tissue it is trying to mimic. Additionally, it is very difficult to transfer 2D cell culture into regenerative medicine approaches. Therefore, the field of ‘biofabrication’, or the 3D printing of cells and tissues, has emerged as a promising approach to overcome these limitations. While tremendous progress happened in this field in terms of printing technology development, one of the major limitations is related to the availability of high performing materials or bio-inks.
BIO INX as the key to success?
Cells as such are very difficult to process with a 3D printer, therefore, there is a need to combine these cells with suitable materials which not only make the cells printable but also mimic the natural extracellular environment and keep the cells alive during the printing process. These materials are often referred to as bio-inks. This term, also, provided inspiration for the name of the new start-up: BIO INX®. The main activity of BIO INX® is the development of innovative high performing bio-inks to increase the application potential of biofabrication technology.
Multiple printing technologies
As currently, multiple printing technologies are being applied in the field of biofabrication, BIO INX® offers materials for the most popular printing technologies. However, the main focus lies on materials for high-resolution laser-based technologies. By offering equivalent inks for different printing technologies, BIO INX® allows researchers to easily transfer from one technology to the other with comparable material properties.
The targeted printing technologies include deposition-based printing and light-based printing. For deposition-based printing where a construct is generated by depositing multiple layers of material on top of each other, it currently offers 5 different inks. For the high-resolution laser-based multiphoton lithography, currently has 4 different inks, including the world’s only multiphoton lithography material allowing live-cell encapsulation with printing resolutions down to 1 µm. Finally, BIO INX® is working on materials for digital light projection printing technology, which will be commercialized in the near future.
The launch of BIO INX® is no surprise, as it originates from the Ghent University project “XPECT INX®”, which evolved in a positive direction and needed incorporation to grow further. “XPECT INX, allowed us to further develop the technology elaborated in our PhD research, and turn this into a viable product.” Says Jasper Van Hoorick, CEO of BIO INX®. “We believe that launching BIO INX® was the best method to bring our technology from Academic research to real-world applications”.
Four distribution partnerships
With already 4 distribution partnerships for deposition-based printing (Regemat 3D, Felix Bio) and high resolution printing (Nanoscribe, Upnano); BIO INX® is ready to take on the market. By doing so, BIO INX® aims to further contribute to Flanders know-how economy in the fields where it is extremely strong being additive manufacturing and healthcare.
About BIO INX®
BIO INX® is a start-up focusing on the development of biomaterials for 3D-bioprinting applications. Based on years of experience in bio-ink development, BIO INX® offers and develops a whole range of ready to use (bio)inks for different 3D-printing technologies, including 2PP, DLP and deposition based 3D-printing.
(c) Picture & link: www.bioinx.com