Developing an Open & Affordable 3D Bioprinter

Project Summary

3D bioprinting was, until recently, in the realm of science fiction. But in the last few years a number of labs around the world have been working on bioprinting applications, from printing scaffolds and other extracellular structures to printing cells and tissues. The potential use of 3D bioprinting technologies is immense, whether in research to create better biological models to test hypotheses, or in the clinic for use in regenerative medicine. Unfortunately, a proprietary 3D bioprinter retails for up to $200,000 (without accounting for the cost of proprietary bioinks), placing this groundbreaking new technology beyond the scope of many research labs. The proprietary nature of these bioprinters also means they are difficult to customize. Our project proposal aims to create and share a protocol to convert an inexpensive RepRap 3D printer into a bioprinter, along with a comprehensive and comprehensible protocol for preparing bioinks. We will also create an online space for people to share protocols for bioinks. We will demonstrate the dexterity of the converted printer by printing live coral.