The LulzBot Bio is a FRESH certified bioprinter ready for use with bioinks, unmodified collagen, and other soft materials for pharmaceutical/cosmetic testing, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine.
The LulzBot Bio combines versatility with exceptional print quality in a compact and easy-to-use bioprinter. Certified for FRESH printing, the Bio includes everything you need to get started printing bioinks, unmodified collagen, and other soft materials. With an Open Source design and less than an hour of out-of-the-box setup time, the Bio’s capabilities can grow as fast as your innovation.
Bioprinting is revolutionizing pharmaceutical development, cosmetic testing, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. 3D bioprinted tissues can be used to mimic in vivo conditions, enabling organizations to better predict efficacy and toxicology of potential drugs early on in the drug discovery process.
FRESH is an acronym for Freeform Reversable Embedding of Suspended Hyrdogels. This is the 3D printing process of suspending soft materials in a gel substance to create an object. The gel acts as support system for the soft materials when printing. After, the printed material is cured and the support bath is heated, changing it from a gelatinous state to a liquid, so that the print can be removed.
The support system that method utilizes is called LifeSupport. LifeSupport is a thermoreversable support bath used in the FRESH printing process. The Life Support System suspends the print to keep it from collapsing on itself and allows for precision printing of Bio Materials. Once heated up with the heated bed, the LifeSupport releases the print from the hydrogel and is ready.
The LulzBot Bio is FRESH certified and comes with nearly everything needed to start bioprinting including preconfigured material profiles, petri dishes, LifeSupporttm gel, alginate, and tools.
What have they printed with a LulzBot Bio?
- Functional tissues with contractility (includes heart tissues)
- Collagen heart valve that can support pulsatile flow
- Have not tested in animals yet but have simulated blood flow
- Beating ventricle made of human heart cells
- Multi-scale vasculature (from 5mm down to 100 μm)
- Was able to support cells living around that vessel network
- Artery trees
- Sodium Alginate – Rapid prototyping material derived from brown seaweed.
- Translucent therefore requires dye to be seen when suspended in water/alcohol.
- LifeSupport must be mixed with calcium chloride 0.1% solution to enable crosslinking.
- Collagen – Highly important protein in the body.
- The LulzBot Bio is ready to print unmodified collagen. This is very important as we are closer to mimicking human physiology.
- Pure collagen can be printed down to 20 μm.
- Can be crosslinked with a PH change via addition of acetic acid (main component of vinegar apart from water).
- Cells –
- Usually these are stem cells.
- Can only be printed down to 100 μm needle. Smaller needles will impact cell viability.
- Cells need to touch each other to maintain cell viability.
- After printing they must be placed in cell culture incubator at 37°c
- More to come: Fibrin, hyaluronic acid, thermosets