The problem (Background)
Limited supply of human platelets
Growing demand for medical research and clinical applications
5 units of platelets/ 1000 population per year in Europe, in average
5 million units/year costing over €375 million
We believe platelet production ex-vivo can be precision tailored and optimized by providing megakaryocytes embedded within the correct physical and biochemical environment.
To prove this, we developed a new bone marrow model by functionalizing non-thrombogenic silk protein biomaterial with a range of proteins which are proven to promote a gain by at least one order of magnitude in platelet production.
In other words, we are using silk, a natural biocompatible and sustainable element to produce a bioink and 3D print our platelet production instrumentation.
Why SilkFusion is groundbreaking?
SilkFusion is the first industialisable 3D silk-fibroin technology for ex-vivo large-scale production of blood platelets
SilkFusion covers the critical need of functional platelets, independent from donations, for transfusions as well as for clinical and physiological studies.
SilkFusion will revolutionize personalized medicine by offering researchers and clinicians specialized precision instruments for determining the safety and efficacy of drug
How do we expect to do it?
Our solution combines three technologies developed by our consortium:
Methods for the fabrication of silk-based bone marrow models
Forward programming (FoP) approach to produce megakaryocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs)
hPSC derivation from patients with hereditary thrombocytopenia and CRISPR/Cas9 introduction of mutations in normal hPSCs