Researchers develop low-cost 3D bioprinter

Engineering

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have modified a standard desktop 3D printer to create a new, low-cost system for 3D bioprinting - the process of artificially constructing living tissue by layering cells.

A group led by materials science and engineering (MSE) and biomedical engineering  associate professor Adam Feinberg created a syringe-based, large volume extruder (LVE) that can function with almost any open-source fused deposition modelling printer.

“US researchers have modified a standard desktop 3D printer to create a new kind of bioprinter.“

Kira Pusch, a recent graduate of the MSE undergraduate programme, said it is a relatively inexpensive and easy adaptation for researchers and medical professionals already using 3D printers.

The designs resulting from the study have been made available as open-source, so other developers can use them to create their own systems.

Professor Feinberg said: "Essentially, we've developed a bioprinter that you can build for under USD500, that I would argue is at least on par with many that cost far more money."

He added that his team is hoping to "democratise" technology and make it more widely available.

Complete instructions for installing the LVE were included in a paper published in the journal HardwareX.

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