Developing a New Drug Testing Process

Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Aspect Biosystems is creating human body tissue using 3-D printing, a technology that provides more effective ways to test new drugs and could eventually lead to 3-D bioprinting of entire organs.

Aspect, which has received early funding from e@UBC’s Seed Fund and mentorship, recently took second place in a B.C. Innovation-New Ventures competition. It was founded by a group of university researchers who have created their own 3-D bioprinting technology in which cells are combined and suspended in hydrogel in a liquid form. The liquid is fed into a printer, just as plastic filament is fed into a 3-D printer to create living 3-D structures. The functional living human tissue models are created layer by layer.

These models will then be used to assist in the drug development process for a variety of diseases. For now, Walus says, “we’re creating the equivalent of an airway wall and using that to develop a model of airway fibrosis. We can make a healthy airway and we can trigger it to be a diseased airway and then assault that model with drug candidates for airway fibrosis.”

Listen to the full interview with CEO, Konrad Walus, and the Vancouver Sun about Aspect’s business strategy and his vision for the future here.