The Japanese BioPrinting company Cyfuse Biomedical has completed a 1.4 billion Yen ( $ 12 million) series B funding round, bringing the total investment to 1.98 billion yen ($ 16.5 million).
Cyfuse will use this funding to begin overseas sales of its bio 3D printer for research applications and also accelerate the development of its 3D tissue engineering technology for regenerative medicine applications. Founded in 2010 as a regenerative medicine startup, Cyfuse has developed its proprietary technology to assemble living cells in three dimensions, based on research results of Professor Koichi Nakayama of Saga University. The company teamed up with Shibuya Kogyo Co. Ltd to develop a bio 3D printer called Regenova, which was completed an shipped to Japanese universities in 2013.
The company’s technology uses a fine needle array to skewer cellular aggregates (0.5mm diameter), which are then stacked three dimensionally. Once the cellular aggregates are fused together, the needles are removed, resulting in elastic tissue based on the original cells and the collagen within. The resulting cellular structure spends several days or weeks maturing in a customized bioreactor. This technology can be used with various cell types, and is able to produce thicker and more elastic tissue than was conventionally possible, so it is expected to bring breakthroughs in drug discovery research and regenerative medicine in a wide range of therapeutic areas.