Visual Impairment is a severe issue. Someone is trying to help the visually impaired via the mobile app, which will help the disabled to get in touch with people and get help. Someone is helping the disabled via audio navigation services. Someone made advanced wearable AI devices for the disabled. But has anyone given a permanent solution for it? Before addressing the elephant in the room, have a look at the facts, statistics and the stories.
World health organization has reported that approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of vision impairment. Majority of the people with vision impairment are over the age of 50 years. The good thing here is that 80% of the vision impairment globally is considered avoidable. The numbers are scary. It is indeed a grave issue.
Supply Demand mismatch
As of January 2019, 113,000+ is the count of men, women and children enrolled in the waiting list of organ transplantation. 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant and every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list. Each year, the number of people on the waiting list is growing and is way higher than the number of donors and transplants. It is indeed a grave issue of shortage in organs.
Development of new drugs, new vaccines or study of diseases requires models to work on. Artificial organs, artificial tissues are needed for such work. It costs a lot to develop a drug, and the cost of failure is also pretty high. The main reason behind the collapse of the drugs is the shortage of models, on which the study is performed.
Connecting the dots!
What can be the solution to the severe issue of visual impairment, supply-demand mismatch of visual aid and the hindrance in medical research? Bangalore based biotechnology startup Pandorum Technologies have an answer to all these issues. “Tissue engineering” it is!
Engineering and the use of material methods on the group of cells is what tissue engineering is about. Biochemical factors and physiochemical factors are studied to find an alternative for biological tissues. Pandorum has leveraged tissue engineering to design and manufacture three-dimensional functional human tissues; intended for medical research and therapeutics.
Recipe to make tissue
Pandorum makes human tissue using four ingredients. Here is the method. Human cells are of prime importance. You will get it via cell banks. To keep these cells in a healthy environment, “Bio-inks” is required, which is the second component. 3D bioprinter to place the cells in an architecture you want. Say, if you want skin you need to put it in the skin architecture if you want liver you need to place it in the liver architecture. The final component is micro fluids, wherein you will grow these tissues underbody like conditions.
Issue of visual impairment has been taken care of by Pandorum’s ‘Liquid Cornea’. The process enables the scarless healing of corneal wounds and helps restore vision through bio-regeneration. Transparent and suturable corneal lenticules embedded with live corneal cells are printed by ‘bio-ink’.
Pandorum Technologies won the first place at the 2019 Entrepreneurship World Cup (India), a series of the global pitch competition. In November, it will represent India at the worldwide competition in Riyadh along with the two runners-up.
Pandorum aspires to make human organ replacement more affordable for Indians. The start-up believes there is a lot of room for innovation, and the future is bright!