Dr. Lee was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education in July of 2017 via the 2017 I-Corps@Ohio MedTech Cohort. The grant extends until June 30th, 2018 and is titled: Chip-based, miniaturized 3D bioprinting for chemical toxicity assessment. The major goal is to develop business strategy and market analysis for commercializing a 384-pillar plate with sidewalls for miniaturized human tissue regeneration.
Since preclinical evaluations with animal models are often inaccurate due to differences in genetic makeup between animals and humans, there has been an emergence of in vitro three-dimensional (3D) cell culture techniques that attempt to recapitulate tissue structures in vivo. While the advantages of 3D cell cultures are clear compared to 2D cell cultures, limited effort has been directed towards the miniaturization of 3D cell/tissue models that are compatible with high-throughput compound screening. The primary goal of this project, funded by the NSF-based Ohio I-Corps program, is to commercialize various human tissues on a 384-pillar plate with sidewalls via our proprietary “3D bioprinting” technology, which could potentially revolutionize regenerative medicine, oncology, and drug discovery. With the realization of fully developed mini-tissues on the 384-pillar plate, the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and chemical industries will be able to generate highly predictive toxicity, efficacy, and pharmacokinetic information needed to determine whether to advance therapeutic and other new product candidates from early stage development to later stage evaluation.