The original idea for Ronawk LLC came from our team’s desire to create personalized tissues and organoids for critically injured patients that have limited or no donor options. Regenerating and repairing individual organs and tissues for a single individual requires mass quantities of the patient’s own adult stem cells. Mass production of adult stem cells for therapeutic applications is extremely challenging as adult stem cells have a limited shelf-life when isolated from primary tissues of humans or animals. Removing adult stem cells from their original microenvironment is traumatic, and the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells diminishes quickly if they are not placed into a suitable 3D growth environment. Current culturing practices rely on growing adult stem cells in 2D environments with limited surface area, which eventually requires that adult stem cells be dissociated, diluted, and plated on new substrates. This practice is known as “passaging”, and over time reduces the ability of the adult stem cells to differentiate, divide, and migrate, which eventually renders the adult stem cells useless.
To provide a viable option to critically injured patients, our team developed a technology that overcame the negative effects of passaging and enabled us to rapidly expand a primary stem cell population in 3D for tissue engineering applications. Now, we have the ability to preserve stem cells and tissues from the patient for later use in the event that a life-saving tissue reconstruction is needed.