first clinical trials in sight in Marseille, with the Gironde company Poietis

By with AFP

Making skin using a 3D printer, then grafting it on a patient: the Hospital de la Conception, in Marseille, hopes to sign this world first thanks to the laser machine of the Girondine start-up Poietis in Pessac

“It’s a real revolution,” enthuses Florence Sabatier, head of the cell culture and therapy laboratory (LCTC) at La Conception, where the NGB (Next-Generation Bioprinting) robotic bioprinting platform has just been installed. developed by the company Poietis (from the Greek for “manufacture”. “It is a cutting-edge technological tool that will allow us to manufacture bio-printed skin that can be used in humans, a world first. The first clinical trials are planned for the first quarter 2022 ”.

Created 15 years ago, the LCTC has become a benchmark in the development and evaluation of innovative regenerative cell therapies. It benefits from the support of the Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM) and funding from the department. These are all assets that led Poietis to choose it as a partner two months ago to finalize the development of its 3D printer.

First transplants in 12 patients

The first transplants are planned for 12 patients, “young people with good healing quality” and with “simple wounds”. They will be “followed for two years”, the time to check “that things are stabilized”.

In plastic surgery, skin grafting is a common procedure, but no technique has yet been able to effectively replace the graft of skin taken from the patient himself.

“This concerns a lot of patients: severe burns but also trauma patients after an accident or those who have undergone an ablation for cancer, a tumor,” he says.

“3D skin in three weeks”

“The production of a 3D printed skin takes around three weeks,” explains Fabien Guillemot, former researcher, founder of Poietis. “It starts with the removal of a fragment of skin of a few square centimeters from the patient”, from which “we extract cells from the dermis and the epidermis” that we will multiply to make a larger tissue than the initial sample. : “This first phase takes about ten days”, details the company manager.

Then comes the actual bioprinting phase, which only takes a few hours: thanks to the laser, “the printer will deposit micro-droplets containing cells, layer by layer. The structure is then allowed to evolve for a few days, until a functional tissue is obtained ”.

“The advantage of bioprinting is to increase the size of the tissue,” explains Mr. Guillemot. “Today, it is multiplied by ten (from 4 cm to 40 cm). In the future, the idea is to increase this factor in order to be able to treat severe burns in particular ”.

Founded in 2014, Poietis has taken technological steps by gradually combining skills in laser physics, optics, biology and pharmacy. It developed by working for cosmetics with the German chemical group BASF. Today it manages 70 patents, employs 34 people and works in particular with the European Union on a 3D cartilage manufacturing project.

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