The limited supply of human platelets and the rapidly growing demand for medical research and clinical applications including studies of platelet-related disease mechanisms and platelet transfusions for patients, are manifest. In Europe, the demand of platelets averages 5 units per 1,000 population per annum, i.e. 2.5 million units per year, costing over €375 million. Due to the ageing population and ever more aggressive chemotherapies, platelet demand is increasing by 10% every year, while the supply of platelets is entirely dependent on allogenic donations.
SilkFusion is a groundbreaking 3D silk-fibroin technology for ex-vivo large-scale production of blood platelets for human transfusion from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Its core technology combines genetically engineered human pluripotent stem cells differentiating into megakaryocytes and functionalized silk-fibroin platforms and bio-inks to release the platelets from the megakaryocytes.
Therefore, SilkFusion could cover the urgent need for new mechanisms to generate functional platelets ex-vivo to address clinical needs as well as for insight into fundamental studies of mechanisms of physiologic and pathologic platelet production.