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This is not your run of the mill 3D printer, the BIOPrinter breaks new ground and the following information will provides you with insights into the market-place for 3D bioprinters in general, the importance of bioprinting, a description of what bioprinting is, how bioprinters in general work, and then the specifics of the FELIX BIOprinting technology. Besides the section below entitled Insight into FELIX BIOPrinters Approach, we have also provided contents of the BIOPrinter bundle including download links for the FELIX BIOprinter brochure and datasheet.
The global 3D bioprinting market size was valued at USD 965.0 million in 2018 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 19.5% over the period 2019 – 2026. This growth is attributed to the rising incidence of chronic diseases, such as heart and kidney failures, increasing aging population, and limited number of organ donors. Advancements in technology & IT within the healthcare industry and rising R&D investments are also likely to boost the market growth.
WHY IS BIOPRINTING IMPORTANT
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. This is critical in drug testing and clinical trials, with the potential, for example, to drastically reduce the need for animal trials.
When living tissues and organs need not come from humans, 3D bioprinting offers other massive opportunities. One example is testing treatment for diseases using artificially affected tissues.
The process will also eradicate the headaches associated with organ donation and transplantation. Apart from the lack of available organs, the entire process is criticized from a moral and ethical perspective.
Organ replacement is the main objective, but tissue repair is also possible in the meantime. With bioink, it’s much easier to solve problems on a patient-specific level, promoting simpler operations.
WHAT IS BIOPRINTING
Bioprinting is a 3D printing / additive manufacturing 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.
The technique is widely applicable to the fields of medicine and bioengineering. Recently, the technology has even made advancements in the production of cartilage tissue for use in reconstruction and regeneration.
In essence, bioprinting works in a similar way to conventional 3D printing. A digital model becomes a physical 3D object layer-by-layer. In this instance, however, a living cell suspension is utilized instead of a thermoplastic or a resin.
For this reason, in order to optimize cell viability and achieve a printing resolution adequate for a correct cell-matrix structure, it’s necessary to maintain sterile printing conditions. This ensures accuracy in complex tissues, requisite cell-to-cell distances, and correct output. The process principally involves preparation, printing, maturation, and application.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Several bioprinting methods exist, based on either extrusion, inkjet, acoustic, or laser technologies. Despite the various types, a typical bioprinting process has a more-or-less standard series of steps:
- 3D Imaging: To get the exact dimensions of the tissue, a standard CT or MRI scan is used. 3D imaging should provide a perfect fit of the tissue with little or no adjustment required on the part of the
- 3D Modelling: A blueprint is generated using AutoCAD software. The blueprint also includes layer-by-layer instruction in high detail. Fine adjustments may be made at this stage to avoid the transfer of
- Bioink Preparation: Bioink is a combination of living cells and a compatible base, like collagen, gelatin, hyaluronan, silk, alginate or nanocellulose. The latter provides cells with scaffolding to grow on and nutriment to survive on. The complete substance is based on the patient and is function-specific.
- Printing: The 3D printing process involves depositing the bioink layer-by-layer, where each layer has a thickness of 0.5 mm or less. The delivery of smaller or larger deposits highly depends on the number of nozzles and the kind of tissue being printed. The mixture comes out of the nozzle as a highly viscous
- Solidification: As deposition takes place, the layer starts as a viscous liquid and solidifies to hold its shape. This happens as more layers are continuously deposited. The process of blending and solidification is known as crosslinking and may be aided by UV light, specific chemicals, or heat (also typically delivered via a UV light source).
FELIX 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:
- 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.
- Retraction mechanism: High precision motor offers significantly improved material dosage and more accurate material flow vs traditional air pressure systems.
- Build plate: specifically designed to secure petri dishes and wells for stability and accuracy.
- Compatibility: compatible with all viscosities and wide range of materials
- 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 type of instruments and materials to be used.
- 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
- 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
FELIX printers product line. We’ve 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 FELIX printers has earned. The user-friendly touch screen provides intuitive navigation of each print job and project.
KEY Features of the FELIX BIOPrinter are:
- Fully sterilizable
- Designed to use standard 5 ml syringes / petri dishes / culture plates
- Powerful FELIX touchscreen interface, adaptable to multi-machine farm
- Syringe cooling / heating
- Print bed cooling / heating
- Dual syringe system, with fast and easy change-over
- Easy Syringe positioning
- Automatic bed leveling
- Virtually Silent operation
- Fully upgradeable
- Layer Resolution: to 50 microns
- Build Plate: Aluminium sandwich plate with steel flexplate.
- Print head: Dual syringe operation
- Syringe Specs: 5 ml syringe(s)
- Build Speed/s: Recommended build speed is 20 mm/s. Speed depends on material viscosity.
- Typical print accuracy: ± 0.05 mm for sizes below 20 mm
- Syringe Min/Max print temperatures: 0-50 ˚C
- Syringe heat up time / cooling times: 10 seconds
- XYZ resolution: XY, 1.6 microns, Z: 0.15 micron
- Dimensions & Weight: 430 x 390 x 550 mm, 11.5kg
- Build Volume: XYZ = 130 x 210 x 130 mm
- Extrusion width: greater than 0.1mm, depending on nozzle size
Whats in the FELIX BIOPrinter Bundle?
- FELIX BIOPrinter
- Clear Transparent Cover/Case
- UV Light
- Build Platform
- Needle 25G, 0.26mm, 1/2 inch, Luer Lock, Pink
- Needle 22G, 0.41mm, 1/2 inch, Luer Lock, Blue
- Needle 21g, 0.51mm, 1/2 inch, Luer Lock, Yellow
- Needle 21g, 0.51mm, 1/2 inch, Luer Lock, Purple
- Syringe 5ml Luer Lock
- Petri Dish
- Well Plate 6-well
- UV Protection Glasses
- Starter Kit: Pro/Tec kapton sheets, dust cleaners and print adhesive
BIOPrinter Data Downloads:
Given its interdisciplinary nature, 3D bioprinting is accelerating at an ever-increasing rate. These are exciting times. Those working in the field are making advances every day, in both the technology and in their understanding of how it can be used and improved. There is no doubt that the future of medicine will be very different with bioprinting involved, and the FELIX BIOPrinter is perfectly positioned to feed this huge spike in demand in the coming years.