BioBots is a company specialized in biotechnologies which intends to make 3D printing a tool capable of helping medicine by going beyond the printing of simple prostheses, by betting on achievements based on living cells.
Biofabrication, the process of artificially creating living tissue, is not a new area. However, the sector could quickly evolve if it were possible to directly print complete structures using a 3D printer.
BioBot's 3D printer does not use plastic, but a special one based on living cells to print tissue in 3D, or even miniature human organs. The immediate interest of this type of printer does not lie in transplantation, but in the possibility for laboratories to conduct clinical tests on organs without removing them from patients.
By successfully proposing tissues close to or similar to those of humans, it will be easier for pharmaceutical companies to speed up the testing of their molecules and drugs, including with controversial or specific molecules for certain rare and degenerative diseases. not allowing a test phase on patients who are too weak.
The other benefit of this technology will be to significantly reduce the cost of drug development. Clinical trials require heavy investments which will be largely avoided here. As a result, laboratories could also offer new treatments to respond to diseases or symptoms affecting only a small population.
Currently, the printer offered by BioBots comes with a kit for printing cartilage. Several kits will be offered in the future for printing with various biomaterials.
To print living cells, the printer uses visible blue light and not UV to solidify the different layers. Regarding ink, it is a special photoinitiator to which it suffices to add any type of living cell as well as binding factors to ensure that the cells are held together during printing.
The print head uses hydraulic pressure to expel the ink and once each layer is in place, it is exposed to blue light to begin the solidification process. Printing times vary depending on the nature of the fabric to be printed and its volume.