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New Member Spotlight: Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)

“The next frontier of regenerative medicine is manufacturing,” said Dr. Jian Ling, an Institute scientist in the SwRI Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. “By joining ARMI, SwRI can work with other members to transition regenerative medicine technologies to manufacturing and bring significant additional benefits to patients. SwRI has the experience and resources, especially in product development and technology commercialization. Through the consortium, we can collaborate with other members and accelerate transition of our technology.”

Founded in 1947 as an independent, nonprofit research and development organization, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) provides significant research, engineering, and evaluation resources. With nine technical divisions and state-of-the-art laboratories, SwRI uses a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to solving complex problems in science and applied technology.

SwRI occupies more than 1,200 acres and provides more than 2 million square feet of laboratories, test facilities, workshops, and offices for nearly 2,600 employees who perform contract work for industry and government clients. In addition to CGMP laboratories for pilot production, SwRI has an established ISO 13485 Quality System for medical device design, prototyping and testing.

SwRI expertise aligns well with ARMI’s strengths.

 SwRI staff members have extensive experience related to regenerative medicine product development, including tissue engineering skin, bone, tendon and blood vessel materials for novel wound-healing applications.

“We have been developing some tools related to regenerative medicine such as stem cell expansion bioreactor and oxygen carrier for tissue fabrication. We would like to leverage the technology readiness level through our collaboration with ARMI and toward commercializing these tools for the next generation of medicine,” Ling said.

SwRI has developed bioreactors to scale-up stem cell production for cell-based therapies and encapsulates cells, growth factors, and drugs for bioprinting applications. Chemists collaborate with robotics, automation, modeling and simulation experts to improve the manufacturing processes, data analysis and control software.

SwRI has assisted clients in military and the private sector to develop and evaluate regenerative medicine technologies, including custom facial neodermis, collagen-based artificial skin, and cell-based therapies. Biological substitutes are developed to restore, maintain, or improve tissue function by use of cells, materials, biochemical factors, and engineering methods, such as wound care products that help regenerate tissue growth.

“ARMI membership will allow SwRI to be at the cutting edge of regenerative medicine when R&D is beginning to transition out of the lab into large-scale commercial operations” said SwRI Vice President Dr. Michael MacNaughton in the SwRI Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. “SwRI chemists collaborate with our robotics, automation, and modeling and simulation experts to improve manufacturing processes, data analysis, and control software.”

In addition to CGMP laboratories for pilot production, SwRI has an established ISO 13485 Quality System for medical device design, prototyping and testing.

For more information, visit SwRI's Regenerative Medicine Page or contact Tracey M.S. Whelan via phone at 210-522-2256, or at Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.