A Bengaluru-based biotech start-up, Pandorum Technologies, has become the first Indian firm to develop artificial living tissue, which performs the function of a human liver and can lead to affordable, full-scale transplantable organs in few a years.
- The tissue has been developed by the trio comprises of Arun Chandru, Dr Abdullah Chand and Dr Sivarajan T.
- The tissue performs critical functions of a human liver tissue including detoxification, metabolism and secretion of biochemicals such as albumin and cholesterol.
- The tissue can grow and survive up to eight weeks.
Artificial living tissue
To build liver tissue of 5 mm size, Pandorum needed 10 million liver cells, which were arranged in three-dimensional architecture.
- A bio-material made up of glucose, proteins and living cells extracted from a particular type of insect is used as ink, which is placed in three interchangeable dispensers of the printer’s head controlled by lasers.
- 3D printing technology has the potential to save lives of patients with liver failure.
Arun Chandru along with Tuhin Bhowmick, researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, founded Pandorum in 2011 to make artificial human organs on demand.
- Pandorum is currently funded by grants from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council and is incubated at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, a nonprofit organization that provides support for bioscience research and entrepreneurship.
In India, thousands of lives are lost every year because of unavailability of organs. More than 75,000 livers, 200,000 kidneys and 50,000 hearts are needed in hospitals across the country. The current availability through organ donation and cadaver transplants is around 1,500 livers, 7,000 kidneys and just 50 hearts.