January 27, 2015

The Rise of BioFabrication and BioPrinting in Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine – notes from TERMIS 2014 Annual Meeting

RoosterBio participated in the annual Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society’s Annual Meeting of the Americas chapter (or TERMIS-AM for short) in Dec 2014.  You can find a lot of content on the meeting at the conference website where you can download the program for free, as well as read the published abstracts in the journal Tissue Engineering.  The final registration numbers for the 2014 TERMIS-AM conference in DC was 842 (about a 7% increase over last year’s conference).  There were 30 countries represented at the conference, with a total of 202 oral presentations and 338 poster presentations (Stats from Sarah Wilburn at the TERMIS head office).  We are looking forward to the 2015 TERMIS World Congress, which will be in Boston in early September, 2015.

There were two striking trends that were gleaned from the conference that I wanted to outline over a couple of blog posts.  First, there was a noticeable rise in the number (and quality) of the Biofabrication-related talks and posters (this blog post will focus on this).  The second trend to note was the rise in Product Development content at the 2014 meeting – and this will be the focus of a subsequent blog post.  Interestingly, the intersection of these two topics (manufacturing process technologies and product development) has traditionally been crucial for the successful commercialization of high tech products, including biopharmaceuticals (see recent HBR article by Pisano and Shih here).  

Our favorite booth (after the RoosterBio booth, or course) was BioBots', who were
showing off the beta version of the BioBot Rapid 3D Bio-Prototyper.

The Rise of BioFabrication and BioPrinting in Tissue Engineering
TERMIS has always been a great conference for academic Tissue Engineering technologies.  The major comment that I always heard from fellow industrialists was just how “academically” focused the conference was.  Meaning that the

January 17, 2015

Welcome to the Golden Age of BioPrinting, Tissue Engineering and BioFabrication

A"Golden Age" is defined as a period of time in a field where "great tasks are accomplished."  The ancient Greek philosopher Hesiod initially coined this phrase, and I think if he were alive today, he would agree with us that we are in a special time of technology convergence where innovations and advancements are progressing at an accelerating rate.  The fields of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine are benefiting from these rapid technology advancements.

We are now at the beginnings of the Golden Age of BioFabrication.  The last 20 years has seen steady progress in the Tissue Engineering field, but the cost and time it has taken to develop products based on these technologies has been prohibitive.  Thus, only the best funded labs have been able to perform this very expensive R&D.  Within the last year, products such as high volume stem cells (via RoosterBio) and low cost bioprinters (from our collaborators BioBots) have been coming to market and dramatically reduce the cost, the time, and the complexity to fabricate three dimensional biological structures that are the precursors to tomorrow's tissue engineered products.  By removing the technology and cost barriers and democratizing biofabrication technology, more labs can now afford to do the applied R&D, allowing more work to be accomplished faster, completely changing the equation of how labs function.  This is accelerating the development of this entire field.

 Walter Isaacson makes the point over and over in his new book The Innovators that collaboration between people and groups with complementary skill sets is essential to innovation and technology progress.  We, at RoosterBio, have always said that communication platforms (such as social networks, conferences, biohacker spacers, blogs, and journals) are also critical for those in a field to share knowledge and experiences - further progressing the thought convergence.  This February 9th and 10th in Boston is a focused conference on Tissue Engineering and BioPrinting that SelectBio is hosting.  The top researchers, thought leaders, and product developers in the field will be presenting cutting edge research, technology development, and commercialization strategies.  We hope to see you there.