Friday, 20 July 2012


1. what is bio-printing?
2. Advantages and disadvantage
3.The major component of bioprinting
4.Company and products
5.Development cost
6.Future use and Technology
7.How prevalent will the technology become?
8.Barriers to adoption
What is bio-printing?  
It uses printing devices that deposit biological materials. Bio-printing constructs 3D artificial tissues by computer devices.Bio-printing technology is developed by Gabor Forgacs, a biophysicist from University of Missouri in the US. Bioprinters can print complex 3D structures with the combinations of “bioink” and “biopaper.” Today, bio-printing is still at development stage and is used as scientific tools. In long-term, this technology is expected to be used for creating replacement organs and human tissues from raw biological materials.

  1. Replace human tissue by full body transplant
  2. Allows scientists to eliminate the wait list of organ transplants ·         
  3. Higher survival rate of printed cells
  4. Offers high precise resolution
  1. The replacement of molecules or cells within the reconstructed organ is not sure about whether they can fit into a human body as functional tissue
  2. Large-scale construction increases the complexity associated with transplantation
  3. Printing capabilities of complicated tissues
  4. The necessary specifications required for given printing construction (for therapy design, need to be precise and specific)


The Major Components of Bio-printing

An organ is cut horizontally so that scientists can see an array of cells on the surface. The cells are then collected to make BioInk, which change the shape of cells to spheroids. Then the BioInk is placed inside the bio-printer. The spheroids are dropped into hydrogel, which acts as a placeholder.  This step is repeated several times to make layers of spheroids which eventually form a 3D tissue.

Products and Company

1.     The main company for this technology is Organovo. This company focuses on the research and  development on bio printing.
2.     NovoGen MMX Bioprinter™ is the main machine that has been developed to meet challenges in biological research in regards to bio printing.

3.   The main Bioprinter pioneer: Japanese scientist Makoto Nakamura’s modified inkjet technology. 
 4.   In 2008, he created a working bio printer that prints out bio tubing similar to a blood vessel.  
Japanese scientist Makoto Nakamura
Development Cost
1.       A bio printer requires huge informational contents of human tissues to print organs.
2.       Organovo spends about $15.2 million of funding to further research bio printing and requires financial help of investors and donors as well.
3.       Information that is needed for bio-printing is expensive. For example, 1Pb of human tissue contents is approximately $71,680.
4.       Companies need to spend additional fees on hiring the experts who can operate the bio printer.

Future Use and Technology

1.     It could be utilized to create entire living organs such as heart, liver and kidneys
2.     Creation of functional human beings, which can be printed on demand and reach maturity in few weeks.
3.     Newly developed drugs can be tested out on manufactured cells than on animals and humans. It will lead to a huge reduction in cost and time.  
4.     Situ bio printing works by imprinting cells directly onto human body.

How Prevalent Will the Technology Become?

    •      The technology will be universally accepted by hospitals because bio printing will be used to print complete organs that are ready for transplant.
    •        In 20 years, bio printing will be mainstream and accepted.

    Barriers to Adoption
    1.   Bio-printing conflicts with moralities and cultural and religious beliefs.
    2.   BIo-printing will increase life span of people on resource- limited planet earth
    3.   Increase in world population.
    4.   “Fountain of Youth”, people will not grow older and die naturally.


    Students' names: Dasy Liang, JeongYun Pyo, CHAO(Tong) Du, Helen Lee 
    Group number: 4
    TA: Gianni Mui   
    Tutorial section:E106