With the discovery of iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells), which differentiate into many different types of cells, eyes of the world are on regenerative medicine—restoring physical functions lost due to disease and injury.
The technology to build three-dimensional biological tissue from iPS cells also goes beyond regenerative medicine. Research and development efforts are being accelerated, at the prospects for its application to finding causes of diseases, developing new pharmaceuticals, and testing the safety and toxicity of drugs and cosmetics.
To reproduce biological tissue structures that are close to those of living bodies, you need to appropriately arrange different types of cells and assemble them three-dimensionally.
Research and development of 3D bioprinters is under way at Ricoh. This technology uses an original inkjet system, which can arrange cells very precisely. It will lead to the production of artificial human tissues that are very close to those of living bodies.
Ricoh has been putting effort into the development of new inkjet head and bioink for printing of living cells.
These technologies enabled Ricoh to create inkjet-based bioprinting, which can precisely deposit living cells in layer-by-layer fashion.
The vision of Ricoh is to be innovation leader in healthcare by providing functional tissues and organs using our bioprinting for organ replacement and drug discovery.