Dutch 3D Printer manufacturer FELIXprinters released their desktop BIOprinter this January and I am delighted to tell you more about this amazing new product that literally can save lives soon. The greatest importance of bioprinting lies in the resulting tissue-like structures that mimic the actual micro- and macro-environment of human tissues and organs. With this new technology, we can reduce the need for animal trials for example. The main goal is tissue repair and organ replacement using BIOink. Using BIOink instead of donor material also have the benefit of being much more ethically justified.
So what is BIO printing?
Bioprinting is a 3D printing process where biomaterials such as cells and growth factors are combined to create tissue-like structures that imitate natural tissues. The technology uses a material known as BIOink to create these structures in a layer-by-layer manner like the FDM 3D printers you already know. In this instance, however, a living cell suspension is utilized instead of a thermoplastic or a resin. When working with BIOink and BIO 3D printers, having a sterile printing environment is crucial for maintaining accuracy in complex tissues, requisite cell-to-cell distances, and correct output. The process principally involves preparation, printing, maturation, and application.
FELIXprinters approach to BIOprinting
The FELIX BIOprinter can be used for medical, scientific and research applications. The FELIX BIOprinter is flexible and adaptable and is characterized by:
1. Dual head printing: The FELIX BIOprinter operates a dual syringe system that allows the users to print with two different material types within the same print. Alternatively, this system set-up also permits Petri dishes to be filled with multiple objects using different materials in a single print run, which can speed up specific research activities and avoid time-consuming material changeovers.
2. Retraction mechanism: High precision motor offers significantly improved material dosage and more accurate material flow vs traditional air pressure systems.
3. Build plate: specifically designed to secure Petri dishes and wells for stability and accuracy.
4. Compatibility: compatible with all viscosities and wide range of materials
5. Open source system: The FELIX BIOprinter consists of a flexible & adaptable ecosystem to ensure it can meet the needs of a wide range of research applications without generating unnecessary costs. The FELIX BIOprinter has been designed to use any standard 5 ml syringes, meaning it is not restricted to expensive branded products that drive up operating costs. Similarly, standardized Petri-dishes and culture plates are easily accommodated ensuring no limitations on the type of instruments and materials to be used. Modular system – caters to your needs (e.g. the UV light, bed add-on, cover unit)
6. Automatic bed leveling: The bed leveling system works via physical probing of the nozzle against the print surface. Different lengths and size nozzles/needles can be used and easily exchanged to meet specific needs. A perfectly calibrated print bed results in a perfect first layer, leading to accurate results.
7. Sterilization protocols: Print heads are easy to clean, keeping them sterile, for the ideal environment that you demand. The heads are modular units that can easily be exchanged. Additional print heads on-hand simplify quick change-overs to print different materials in quick succession.
The FELIX BIOprinter frame and functionality is based on the existing and established FELIXprinters product line. FELIXprinters leveraged the current trusted technology to minimize the cost of development, making the FELIX BIOprinter accessible to a wider user base to deliver exceptional value. The FELIX BIOprinter is launched with the same reliability and strong 9- year reputation FELIXprinters has earned. The user-friendly touch screen provides intuitive navigation of each print job and project.