Local start-up in Signapore unveils 3d printer that prints with living tissue

Local start-up Bio3D Technologies unveiled Singapore’s first 3D bio-printer that is able to print human cells, tissues and other biological parts. 3D printing refers to the method by which objects are created by a machine that deposits thin layers of material — typically plastic — layer by layer to form 3D shapes.

The technology sees applications in the fabrication of machine parts and toys.

A bio-3D printer is capable of printing biological parts, organs and even medicine in a similar fashion with higher precision. With 3D bio-printing, it may also be possible to fabricate living tissues or human replacement parts and organs in the future.

Co-founder and director Fan Mingwei said 3D bio-printing would be a “revolutionary tool” to speed up research and drug development.

For instance, drug testing is currently a long process that involves both animal and human testing. 3D bio-printing would be able to print human tissues for drug testing, speeding up the drug development process, said Mr Fan.

Following the official launch of the printers tomorrow, the printers will be available for lease to interested parties. They will cost between S$3,000 to S$10,000, depending on the amount of customization on the system.

As the concept of bio-printing is relatively new and almost unheard of in Asia, Mr Fan hopes a leasing model would encourage more researchers to explore the technology here.