The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) opened on July 28, 2017 in Manchester, NH, and will focus on developing transplant tissues and organs for injured patients and Service Members. ARMI is led by Mr. Dean Kamen, who is best known for inventing the Segway, an all-terrain personal transporter. ARMI's mission is to make the large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and tissue-related technologies practical in order to benefit existing industries, and grow new ones.
More than 400 people attended the launch event, including many top names from the political, business, and technology world. The Brain Health Research Program Coordinator, COL Sidney Hinds II, attended as an in-person representative for US Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) Commanding General, MG Barbara Holcomb. He accompanied numerous USAMRMC representatives, including Ms. Kristy Pottol and Mr. John Getz from the US Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, who are managing the DoD's partnership with ARMI.
ARMI is a public-private partnership, which brings together 26 universities and medical centers, 80 private companies, 14 government and nonprofit organizations, and almost $300 million in funding ($80 million from DoD; >$214M from industry). The goal of ARMI is to be self-sustaining within 5-7 years by spinning off companies, providing contract development and manufacturing services, and licensing technologies.
The launch event featured tours, demonstrations, and an overview of ARMI's five thrust areas: (1) cell selection, culture and scale-up; (2) biomaterial selection and scale-up; (3) tissue process automation and monitoring; (4) tissue maturing technologies; and (5) tissue testing, preservation, and transport.
COL Hinds discussed with Mr. Kamen and other ARMI representatives their efforts to grow neurons accounting for the central and peripheral nervous systems' ability to promote tissue regeneration. The New York Times reported that Mr. Kamen is optimistic that ARMI will develop artificial skin, bones, and nerves, and eventually organs that could be implanted into recipients in the next few years.
The launch received widespread coverage from more than a dozen international, national, and local news organizations. Links to several of these reports are below:
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