Stem cells are tough to culture. They are delicate, finicky and don’t always behave the way they should. Scaling them for high-impact projects is even more challenging. Dr. A.J. Mellott knows this well. He spent six years growing billions of stem cells for his doctoral work, and through that process, he had an idea. While spending hours on end in the lab, he thought, “there has to be a better way to do this”. It was in that moment when all his training came into focus for a moment, and he realized that he could grow cells in 3D as they grow in the body. Furthermore, he applied principles of tissue engineering to conceptualize a platform where cells could be mass-produced by mimicking the body and creating a matrix that could be expanded on demand to keep the cells propagating. Dr. Mellott shared this idea with his closest colleagues, and they encouraged him to keep developing the idea. One of his colleagues, Ms. Heather Decker, suggested a few tests to validate the concept. Over the next four years, Dr. Mellott and Ms. Decker ran test after test and refined the technology, until they distilled it into what became the Tissue Block (T-Block). It was then that both realized they had something special that could help a lot of people. Together, they decided to start a company utilizing the T-Block technology platform at its core to develop products, tools, and services that would accelerate research for their fellow scientist. With an interest in healing and knowledge, Dr. Mellott and Ms. Decker decided that a Robin, which alleviates pain, and a Hawk, which has been represented as a messenger, were the symbols that best represented their goals. Hence, the name “Ronawk” was born, and so the company was named.
Ronawk LLC was formed by a group of engineers and scientists interested in developing options for patients that need tissue and organ transfers, but have limited options. Our goal is to efficiently expand a patient’s own healthy cells to engineer organoids or grafts that could be used in life-saving surgeries. We focus on using cutting-edge technologies to create life-saving opportunities for tomorrow from today’s resources.