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Collaborative Success Stories: Fine Print

Fine Print

Organovo, a start-up company whose origins began at the University of Missouri, creates three-dimensional human tissue through bioprinting to advance medical research.

Organovo uses three-dimensional bioprinting to create fully functional human tissues, giving researchers an unprecedented opportunity to test drug safety and efficacy before administering the drug to a living person. The technology also provides new models for disease research and can even create new tissues to replace damaged tissue inside the human body.

The company was originally founded by MU researcher Gabor Forgacs, a self-described “theoretical physicist turned biological physicist, turned tissue engineer, turned entrepreneur.” His pioneering observations on wing development in chicks led to a desire to model embryonic cell development—eventually morphing into the technology that puts Organovo at the forefront of tissue printing.

Organovo collaborates with pharmaceutical companies and other partners to advance medical treatments. It has garnered particular attention for its first-in-class liver tissue assay, with cells that last for over 40 days, allowing a broad range of toxicities enough time to develop. The company also creates lung, skin and kidney tissues, as well as blood vessels, nerve guides and cardiac patches.

Dr. Gabor Forgacs is professor of bioengineering in the Colleges of Engineering and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine