An EU Horizon 2020 Project: H2020-SMEINST-2-2015 (NMP25-2015)
SME Instrument Phase 2 project ANAPRINT will produce commercially-exploitable technology that addresses a large, global market for human cell-based systems able to predict reliably the biological activity or biosafety of a range of materials.
AvantiCell Science Ltd (ACS), the sole project participant, will capture this opportunity by integrating and optimising fully-developed technologies which enable the scalable manufacturing of complex cell models. The models will be produced in formats widely accepted by pharmaceutical and healthcare-related industries as likely to predict the clinical potential or health benefit of test materials, ranging from small-molecule drugs to natural products, traditional medicines, food components and medical devices. Typically, these models comprise cells in 3-dimensional formats reflective of their tissue of origin. No means of scalable manufacture of these models presently exists, and their use is otherwise constrained by technical difficulty, cost and lack of reproducibility.
The ACS technical solution is to assemble cell models by additive printing; to control the cells’ locations by magnetic forces; to supply the models to customers as pre-assembled, frozen products. The ANAPRINT solution is unique, proprietary and highly positive-disruptive in its industrial sector.
Project Update: December 2016
Work performed in the first project period identified printing parameters giving optimal quality and throughput. This activity, conducted under two work packages, first established conditions for precision printing of bio-scaffold material and viable cells, and identified constraints on bio-scaffold printing speed and scalability of bio-scaffold manufacturing along with their technical solution. This work sets a bench-mark of advantageous manufacturing performance, in terms of quantitative and architectural precision of cell model printing.
Throughout, protocols have been developed with anticipation of down-stream integration of cell cryopreservation into the manufacturing process: cryopreservation experiments tested utility of conditions suitable for incorporation into a scalable manufacturing process. Further, during the second work package, a series of experiments established working parameters across a hierarchy of cell-product architectures, from printed scaffold and culture medium presentation through to shipped-product packaging/containment. In this way, factors critical to the down-stream maturation of 3D cell models into customer-friendly products were identified, ensuring that further elaborations of the cell models are de-risked in terms of their compatibility with the ultimate concept of a cryopreserved, short lead-time cell-based analysis product.