Bio-Printing, a technology which has the potential to allow us to re-engineer the human body, has been making tremendous strides over the last three to four years. The possibilities that such a technology holds, to put an end to the tragic self-destruction that every human body will eventually go through, could one day change the way we deal with disease, injury, and aging.
Currently there are only a handful of companies and organizations working on furthering this type of 3D printing of human cells. With this said, many of these companies and organizations have some of the most knowledgeable biologists and researchers on hand. As with any new technology, costs will be an issue. While there are already several applications for bio-printers, which include drug toxicity testing and research, the sheer lack of supply of such machines, combined with an increased interest in acquiring such technology, makes owning one quite expensive.
One company, Bio3D Technologies, based in Singapore and founded just over 14 months ago, is looking to change all this with today’s introduction of their Bio3D Life Printer ‘X’. After filing for two patents pertaining to their micro-printing and bio-printer innovations, back in September of this year, their printer is now ready to enter the market. If the claimed capabilities of this machine are in fact accurate, then it could be a game changer within the medical and research communities.
What makes the Life Printer ‘X’ so amazing is its versatility. The printer can be adjusted via a module system. Different modules can be used for different materials and requirements. The printer is capable of printing with biological material as well as non-biological material, meaning that synthetic materials can be printed within the same object as cells, allowing researchers to print cell infused scaffolds. Cells, proteins, antibodies, bacteria and plastics can all be printed within one session, giving researchers the ability to study their interactions with one another. Additionally, the printer can utilize its extremely accurate 10 micron precision to print on any size or shape of labware or container.
According to the company, the Life Printer ‘X’ can be used for applications which include antibodies, bacteriology, biofilms, cancers, diagnosis, drug testing and development, embryogenesis, proteins, regenerative medicine, stem cells, tissue engineering, virology, and much more.
As mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this article, one of the main issues surrounding bio-printing, is availability and costs. The technology, if in the right hands, could lead to major medical and biological discoveries because of its ability to test many different biological and non-biological materials in conjunction with each other. What Bio3D Technologies is doing with the Life Printer ‘X’, is offering affordable leasing programs to those who wish to work with their printers. According to the company they will lease the printers starting at a cost of around $2390 USD, permitting even some of the smaller companies, universities, and medical organizations around the globe to have access to this powerful technology.
Let’s hear your thoughts on what this new printer could mean for the medical community, as well as the market for 3D bio-printers in general, in the Life Printer ‘X’ forum thread on 3DPB.com.