Humans of SUP: Denise & Kateryna, co-founders of Smart Tissue from TSF11

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Meet the scientists, Denise & Kateryna, the co-founders of Smart Tissue in TSF11. Smart Tissues is focused on a technology called bioprinting, which is similar to 3D printing. Though, bioprinting uses biomaterials that are mixed with cells in order to create 3D objects that have living cells in them & then these structures can be used for different purposes, such as testing drugs & hopefully one day even print living organs. This is the ultimate goal, through the use of this technology to be able to print living organs to fill the shortage of transplantation needs. You might wonder where this crazy futuristic idea came from?

The answer is Japan. It was there Denise & Kateryna met while doing their PHD at the same university in Tokyo but in different departments. Denise was in the medical faculty & Kateryna in the engineering one. After their PHDs their paths went separate ways, Denise worked for a pharmaceutical company “it was here I realised the need for 3D printing of tissues since the current animal models used to test drugs are not efficient. There’s a need for this globally.” Kateryna on the other hand had moved to the US & begun a postdoc at the University of Massachusetts. “It wasn’t until Denise came to visit in the US that we began discussing the problems faced with using the animal models & that’s how I joined the team. The other two members, Gustavo & Ysmaldo, are in Japan focusing on developing the prototype of our printer while Denise & I are focusing on developing the biomaterial.”

“Being 2 scientists in a world of business has been challenging but SUP has really helped us in the business aspect of our startup connecting us with companies & universities. Through which we can now confirm that there is a big interest in this type of technology. So we are hopeful that Smart Tissues will have a strong presence & impact on the scientific community in LATAM, to start changing their research approach & help accelerate it through this use of technology. As mentioned earlier our long term goal is to contribute to the huge need of transplants in the world by providing the tools & being part of the process of laboratory made organs.”