Singapore-based Bio3D Technologies has introduced what it describes as an affordable 3D printer that is capable of printing with biological and synthetic materials. For example, researchers—or, one day, DIY enthusiasts—could print cell-infused scaffolds using a machine that can be leased for as little as $2390, according to 3DPrint.com. If the company's claims are accurate, the Life Printer X is, indeed, a revolutionary device.
Bio3D Technologies says on its website that its Life Printer X is "the first modular bioprinter to give you the options and ultimate versatility to use bio- and microprinting affordably in any life science, chemistry, and engineering studies." One of the unique features of the printer is the use of modules that can be swapped out depending on the materials and requirements sought by the user. Cells, proteins, antibodies, bacteria, and plastics can all be printed within one session, reports 3DPrint.com. The company also offers custom modules, and will be introducing new modules in the future.
Heart cells reportedly have been successfully printed using the device, according to company co-founder and director Fan Mingwei, speaking with Geeky-Gadgets.com.
The potential of bioprinting in terms of drug development, scientific research, and medical discovery is enormous. By making this technology available at a cost point that is affordable to small life science companies and universities, the Life Printer X could well be a game changer.