3D bioprinting could help with COVID research and organ transplants

This specialized equipment lets doctors and researchers print living tissues and organs.

Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

When a group of researchers didn’t have the budget to buy a 3D bioprinter — a highly specialized machine that prints living tissue — they decided to make their own

They now steer a bioprinter startup called Foldink. Other bioprinters can cost as much as $200k, but Foldink wants to be a low-cost option.

The technology could help surgeons print skin grafts for burn victims or organs for transplant patients.

It’s aliiiiiiiive

Dr. Frankenstein would have been insanely jealous of this tech — no spare body parts or alchemy necessary. 

3D bioprinters use bio-ink, a substance made from live cell cultures, to make stackable, Lego-like units of tissue. 

Currently, researchers are printing teeny-tiny lungs and colons to test COVID-19 drugs.

If you can print tissue, you can print money

Tissue engineering is hot. The global market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of ~14% annually, reaching ~$30B by 2027.

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