3D bioprinting has become a mainstream topic of interest. It has made substantial leaps forward in the last ten years for the fabrication of living tissue and complex cells structures.
This is so, primarily due to its ability to create accurate and repeatable geometries. Uses include; drug testing and regenerative medicine, dental and medical applications, biosensors and food products.
The principle of bioprinting is the same as other 3D printing processes; accurate placement of material layer by layer until a geometry is achieved.
The material is different to any other. Here living cells embedded in biomaterials (collectively known as “bio-ink”) get delivered to specific locations. Such a process offers the needed precision and repeatability on the placement of cells, proteins, DNA, drug and/or biologically active particles to enhance tissue generation and formation.
Due to its potential for high-throughput biomanufacturing of complex organs and tissues with both precision and accuracy, the technology has been quickly emerging as a major competitor to conventional tissue engineering methodologies. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for bioprinting equipment in both industry and academia.
Although, until recently high investment costs have been a barrier of entry with many professional, automated, high-end bioprinters costing upward of £1 million.
3D Bioprinting for all
Now, 3D Matters and Hyrel 3D have teamed up to bring bioprinting to all small and medium laboratories and medical practices in the UK and Europe who may be working on important R&D application in this field of work.
A 3D bioprinting system consists of two main components: the printing tool’s (e.g., nozzle’s) motion and material dispensing/solidifying. While motion is generally an inherent property of the system/platform, the printheads responsible for the dispensing are becoming “modular.”
Hyrel’s system is very flexible as it allows for the exchange of printheads. So it is possible to replace a filament printhead with a syringe. It is possible to use multiple printheads at the same time too. You could also add, a camera, curing light, laser, engraver or fan all together in the one platform.