HEPATOPRINT is a three year project funded by the 2019 Spanish State R&D Program. The project started in June 2020 and is coordinated by Prof Gloria Gallego Ferrer and Prof Manuel Salmerón Sánchez at CBIT.

HEPATOPRINT stands for “Biomimetic printable hydrogels for high-throughput hepatotoxicity studies». The project has 2 independent sub-projects led by research groups in CBIT and at Hospital La Fe in Valencia. The sub-project we lead at CBIT is focused on the development of biomimetic printable hydrogels with efficient presentation of growth factors.

Our aim is the development of new biomimetic hydrogels engineered as in vitro high-throughput platforms for the accurate prediction of drug induced liver injury (DILI). We plan to build hydrogel-cell constructs as a robust prediction tool for the hepatotoxicity of new drugs in development by pharmaceutical companies and research teams. Our platform intends to recapitulate in vitro the hepatic cell
function and be an alternative to non-predictive animal experimentation. The proposed hydrogel materials are inspired by the extracellular matrix (ECM) of liver and mimicking a liver-like stiffness. Furthermore, they are injectable
allowing the homogeneous encapsulation of cells and 3D bioprinting. Bioprinting will provide scalability, reproducibility and high-throughput toxicity studies. Our hypothesis is that for the efficient promotion of the hepatic functionality or the hepatic differentiation of stem cells, the hydrogels should present hepatic growth factors efficiently.
In collaboration with our partners at La Fe Hospital we plan to extend this study to hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) derived from induced pluripotent stem cells of different patients (iPSCs) to advance the technology towards a personalized medicine application. Our objetive here will be to assess the new platform as a tool to support clinical prescription and diagnosis related to idiosincratic DILI events.

Papers published with project results