New Bioprinter Makes It Easier to Fabricate 3D Flesh and Bone

By Eliza Strickland

The ideal 3D bioprinter, says tissue engineering expert Y. Shrike Zhang, would resemble a breadmaker: “You’d have a few buttons on top, and you’d press a button to choose heart tissue or liver tissue.” Then Zhang would walk away from the machine while it laid down complex layers of cells and other materials.

The technology isn’t quite there yet. But the new BioBot 2 printer seems a step in that direction. The tabletop device includes a suite of new features designed to give users easy control over a powerful device, including automated calibration; six print heads to extrude six different bioinks; placement of materials with 1-micrometer precision on the x, y, and z axes; and a user-friendly software interface that manages the printing process from beginning to end.

BioBots cofounder and CEO Danny Cabrera says the BioBot 2’s features are a result of collaboration with researchers who work in tissue engineering.

“We’ve been working closely with scientists over the past year and a half to understand what they need to push this work forward,” he says. “What we found is that they needed more than just a bioprinter—and we had to do more than just develop a new robot.” [READ MORE]