The platform brings together several manufacturing processes: additive manufacturing, machining, forming, welding, bioprinting.
Additive manufacturing first appeared at Centrale Nantes around twenty years ago. Today it is also turning towards medicine with the advent of bioprinting – a technology which uses 3D printing technologies to print living tissue.
The Centrale Nantes team, under the responsibility of Jean-Yves Hascoët, is working closely with Professor Gilles Blancho, Head of Itun* the Institute of Transplantation-Urology and Nephrology of the University Hospital of Nantes, IHU CESTI and the RMES team.
Their collaboration led to the conclusion that it was necessary to acquire a bioprinter to dispense cells. Several such machines exist around the world, but none were available on the market. Nothing is impossible for determined minds – Centrale Nantes and the Nantes University Hospital teams decided to build the machine themselves. This much anticipated machine was assembled and installed on the Centrale Nantes campus in 2016.
This precision machine is now installed in sterile laboratory conditions. It is a three-axis machine with syringes. Engineering and biology meet to determine which needle diameter to use, what pressure to apply, or what degree of viscosity to achieve. After testing, the team master the material and the process. The aim is to investigate the field of grafting and organ transplantation. To avoid patient rejection, the idea is to be able to (re) construct an organ or organ elements from the patient’s own stem cells. Next project of the team: vascularize the created matter.