AIVITA Biomedical and University of California at Irvine Collaborators Validate 3D Printed Bioreactor for Retinal Organoid Creation

IRVINE, Calif. –  Jul. 13, 2021 – AIVITA Biomedical, Inc., a private biotechnology company specializing in innovative stem cell applications, today announced the publication of the peer-reviewed manuscript, “Retinal organoids on-a-chip: a 3D printed micro-millifluidic bioreactor for long-term retinal organoid maintenance,” in the journal Lab on a Chip. In the study, researchers from AIVITA Biomedical and the University of California at Irvine designed and demonstrated a bioreactor for nearly labor-free retinal organoid maintenance. The success of the bioreactor serves as an important proof of concept for future clinical and commercial applications, and builds upon AIVITA Biomedical’s prior success in generating 3D retinal organoids from human stem cells and demonstrating their ability to restore visual acuity to rodent models of human blindness.

Retinal degeneration is a leading cause of vision impairment and blindness worldwide, with limited treatment options available for advanced stages of the disease. Stem cell-derived retinal organoids for tissue replacement therapy have recently emerged as a promising potential treatment. However, controlled and predictable methods for manufacturing the retinal organoids are not yet standard in the industry. In this study, researchers designed a shear stress-free micro-millifluidic bioreactor for nearly labor-free retinal organoid maintenance. The result was the successful creation of bioreactor-cultured retinal organoids with cell types and morphology comparable to static cultured retinal organoids and exhibiting similar retinal gene expression levels. Researchers also observed comparable metabolic activity to tissue grown in static culture.

“To have validated an automated device that can reliably produce retinal organoids expands their potential therapeutic and diagnostic applications,” said Gabriel Nistor, M.D., Chief Scientific  Officer at  AIVITA and a contributing author to the paper. “We look forward to exploring the therapeutic and drug-screening potential of these bioreactor-grown organoids.”

AIVITA researchers believe the bioreactor may prove to be a more reliable and controlled method of producing retinal organoids, making it more suitable for producing 3D retina tissue for therapeutic use. The ability to consistently produce large quantities of tissue could also have useful applications in drug screening and formula optimization, facilitating streamlined testing of pharmaceuticals to treat vision loss.

This work is supported by funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

About AIVITA Biomedical

Founded in 2016 by pioneers in the stem cell industry, AIVITA Biomedical, Inc. utilizes its expertise in stem cell growth and directed, high-purity differentiation to enable safe, efficient and economical manufacturing systems which support its therapeutic pipeline. Our cancer immunotherapy targets the seed of all cancers, tumor-initiating cells, with a unique pan-antigenic approach that targets all neoantigens specific to the patient’s cancer. Our patient-specific cancer treatments have shown tremendous promise in eradicating tumors, without harmful side effects, in melanoma and glioblastoma clinical studies.

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