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How BICO Will Shape the Future of 3D Bioprinting

By Motley Fool Staff – Jan 8, 2022 at 7:45AM

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The company is poised to play a leading role in the life science industry.

In this segment of "Industry Focus" on Motley Fool Live, recorded on Dec. 15, Fool Tech Host Dylan Lewis and Analyst Yasser El-Shimy discuss BICO Group's (BICO) flagship product, the 3D bioprinter, and the big role it could play in regenerative medicine.

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Dylan Lewis: Yeah. I think bioprinting in particular is probably one of the easiest ways for people to wrap their head around what bioconvergence looks like in a very practical sense and some of the problems that it can help address.

Why don't we walk through that? You mentioned it before, but I think it's a helpful illustration so people can understand what this business does and really how it fits into the life science industry?

Yasser El-Shimy: Right, absolutely. BICO offers you the ability as a research lab or as a medical lab to design a 3D model of cells, tissues, or organs, then get a 3D model construct printed.

You first start with the software design, then you use the bioprinter to actually print that 3D model of cells or tissues or organs, then characterize it for functionality. In plain English, basically analyze it for a response, like to drugs and other kind of stimuli, effectively evaluating it for regenerative medicine potential in particular, and then do a very detailed downstream analysis on what the cell interactions might be, so you want to see how the cells are reacting to the print compounds or cells are reacting to each other.

Then finally, you build the model that improves on the two-dimensional culture that you just built. Start to finish type of work here that they do and they provide you with all the tools to do it.

Just to give you a recent example here, less than two weeks ago, a research lab at Boston University, my alma mater, "Go Terriers," announced that they built, for the first time ever, a 3D bioprint of a heart on a chip. Of course, they used one of BICO's bioprinters for that.

Without getting into technicalities, this is quite a big deal. To build a 3D [laughs] bioprint of the heart on a chip. Because it opens a way not only to study cardiac disease on printed hearts as opposed to actual hearts but also test medical applications and compounds on a heart under lab conditions.

You don't actually have to test these things on animals or humans, you can test them under lab conditions. Then what's even more exciting to me is the fact that this should be the prelude toward their ultimate goal here, which is the bioprinting of a human heart from a patient's own cells and then transplanting it.

By the way, this does not just apply to a human heart, could apply to any other organ like the liver, the kidney, and so on. Instead of patients having to wait for very long periods of time to find a candidate who can donate an organ for their transplant procedure, and then unfortunately once they have the organs, they have to be on a lot of immunosuppressant medicines that really mess up with their immune systems in order to enhance the chances of those, let's say alien organs, being accepted by the body and not reject it.

If you have an organ that's printed from your own cells planted into you, hopefully, it should increase the chances of doing it faster, safer, and with higher chances of success.

Dylan Lewis has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Yasser El-Shimy owns BICO Group AB. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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