DOST, firm to launch bioprinting lab in Western Visayas

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

July 13, 2023, 11:53 am

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), together with Pharma GalenX Innovations, Inc. will launch the DOST-supported bioprinting laboratory in Jaro, Iloilo on Thursday.

The first in Western Visayas, this laboratory was funded by the DOST under the agency's Business Innovation through S&T for Industry (BIST) program.

"Through the BIST program, GalenX was provided with PHP10.75 million for a 3D printing technology that is used in its in vitro biocompatibility studies. This amount will be refunded back to the government by the company within five years," DOST 6 (Western Visayas) Director Rowen Gelonga told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

He said the BIST is not a loan program but a research funding program.

"However, since the beneficiary is a private company, the amount will be refunded back to the government," Gelonga said.

DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. , in a statement, said the establishment of this laboratory is a testament to the successful synergy between industry and government in advancing cutting-edge research in the Philippines.

Pharma GalenX's research study, Three-Dimensional Bioprinted Human Skin Equivalent for In Vitro Biocompatibility Studies of Topical Formulations, and the establishment of a bioprinting laboratory will help pave the way for advancements in regenerative medicine, he said.

A bioprinting laboratory will enable the development of a human skin equivalent using 3D bioprinting technology for studies involving topical formulations. The facility will be equipped with a 3D bioprinter, ultra-low temperature freezer, microplate reader, CO2 incubators, inverted microscope, and compound microscope.

According to the DOST, the facility will also provide academic and research institutions with accessible services for laboratory analysis. It will also help boost the research capacity of local talents.

Meanwhile, the BIST program aims to strengthen the research and development capabilities of local companies. "This could also serve as a tool in creating socially responsible initiatives, like in this case, creating ways to prevent animal testing," DOST Undersecretary Leah Buendia said.

Another DOST-supported project -- skin invigorating solutions called Skivios -- will also be launched in Iloilo on Thursday.

These are locally-developed toner and serum made from kadios, an Ilonggo agricultural product that is said to mimic certain conditions of the human skin.

Balik Scientist Jonel Saludes said kadios has a natural antibiotic, while Balik Scientist Doralyn Dalisay said Skivios would help address skin problems and infections.  (PNA)