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NANO2021-Nanoteknologi og nye materiale

Evaluation of nanocellulose from tunicates as bioink for 3D Bioprinting of biomimetic pancreas to treat diabetes

Awarded: NOK 0.20 mill.

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Project Period:

2018 - 2018



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The project idea is to develop novel bioink to 3D Bioprint biomimetic pancreas to deliver beta islets to treat patients with diabetes type 1. The bioink will be based on nanocellulose fibrils isolated from tunicates and mixed with alginates. This project consists of several subprojects and this application deals with the delivery device of the cells. The device is already designed and will be biofabricated with 3D Bioprinter. Nanocellulose fibrils from wood and bacteria have been successfully used together with alginate as bioinks for 3D Bioprinting of living human tissue. Wood and bacteria derived nanocelluloses have however disadvantages due to high endotoxin levels. Dr Paul Gatenholm, founder of CELLHEAL AS is entrepreneur and world leader in using nanocellulose in biomedical applications and 3D Bioprinting bioink expert. There were 415 million people in the world with diabetes, type 1 and type 2 in 2015 and the number is expected to increase to 642 million in 2040. Annual cost of diabetes worldwide is more than 827 billion US$. Beta islets transplantation is used in several hospitals worldwide to help patients with diabetes type 1. It has however shortages such is limited cell supply and efficacy and needs of immunosuppression. Oslo University Hospital has developed islet isolation facility and islet manufacturing and is frequently transplanting human islets. Dr Hanne Scholz, Manager of islet transplantation unit and director of Oslo Regenerative Medicine Cluster has turned to 3D Bioprinting in collaboration with Norwegian Biotech start-up CELLHEAL AS. Together the researchers have shown that human beta islets can be 3D bioprinted together with adipose derived stem cells and they are viable and produce insulin and can be implanted in mice. The team will evaluate nanocellulose fibrils isolated from tunicates tohetehr with alginate as novel bioink for 3D Bioprinting of the shell of the implantable cell delivery device (biomimetic pancreas).

Funding scheme:

NANO2021-Nanoteknologi og nye materiale