Gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) is essential for conducting ground-breaking regenerative medicine and tissue engineering research, but GelMA is notoriously difficult to access. If bought from a supplier, just one gram of high quality GelMA will cost approximately $240 USD. If made in-house, it takes 2 weeks of supervision and tedious labor to produce a few grams of GelMA. Between GelMA’s difficult production process and the capitalization of companies on GelMA’s difficult production, researchers are left to choose between two poor ways to get GelMA.
The high cost of GelMA prevents research groups from purchasing large quantities of GelMA for their projects, limiting their scope of research to small-scale experiments and confines their discoveries to small-scale applications.Instead of spending money buying commercial GelMA, many labs choose to synthesize their own GelMA. Obtaining GelMA this way has its own set of challenges,such as a lengthy, labor intensive production process, dialysis and lyophilization inefficiencies, and equipment costs.
Whether research groups decide to produce their own GelMA or purchase commercially available GelMA, their research process is inefficient. The inaccessibility of GelMA makes it difficult to reproduce results; a key pillar for scientific research and an important aspect of the peer-review process.
When GelMA is synthesized by researchers for specific applications, it must be validated to remove the threat of inconsistencies. This process involves testing the various properties of GelMA, such as material concentration, degree of crosslinking, and tensile strength. Additionally, if contaminants remain in GelMA even after 7 days of dialysis, it cannot be used for research and another batch must be produced, slowing the research process immensely.
Although researchers worldwide face many barriers in accessing GelMA, it is still one of the most commonly used hydrogels in bioprinting and tissue engineering research applications; its desirable characteristics and high success rate still make it a sought-after product. This begs the question: If GelMA is so desirable, why is it still so inaccessible?
The GelMA Company has worked tirelessly to find a solution to these long-standing issues and reinvent the hydrogel completely. Our work has led us to discover a new GelMA production method which brings the cost of GelMA down to a mere $70 USD per gram.
We believe quality research materials are essential for research in medicine, engineering and everything in between. Scientists from all backgrounds deserve to do work barrier-free, which is why it has been our mission to create the most functional GelMA, accessible to everyone. Better access to better GelMA will provide researchers with the ability to easily reproduce work, collect high quality data, and draw impactful conclusions. With our GelMA, bioprinting and tissue engineering research processes will be greatly expedited as research publications will be more frequent. We hope to see the successful transplantation of a bioprinted organ one day, and with our technology, that future may be sooner than you think.