OliveSavvy: BioBots

Photo credit: BioBots

Photo credit: BioBots

3D printing has taken off in recent years and looks like it has the potential to be one of the biggest innovations of our times. People have made everything from car parts, to prosthetics, or even bridges! We even use it to help create prototypes here at Olive Devices. However, 3D printing is limited by the fact that most 3D printers can only use plastic to print objects. One startup from Philadelphia is trying to change that.

Biobots was founded by Danny Cabera, Ricardo Solorzano, and Sohaib Hashmi while they were attending the University of Pennsylvania. What they have developed has the potential to revolutionize not just 3D printing, but the medical research field as well. Biobots innovation is a 3D printer, that instead of printing plastic objects uses stem cells and biocompatible materials to 3D print living cell tissue.

This technology surprisingly already exists, but usually costs around $250,000. Much like the mainframe computers of old they required a whole room and a team of people to operate it. The Biobot 1 only requires one person, and can be had for $5-10,000. This makes bioprinting more accessible to researchers and institutions than ever before. This has a lot of exciting implications for the medical field. For example, clinical tests can be conducted on 3D printed human tissue instead of animals. Researchers have also used it to print hearts, bone, and stomachs. Even better, the Biobot is assembled in Philadelphia, using components manufactured in the same city. It is amazing to see how these college students came up with an innovative idea and grew it into a revolutionary business in just a few short years!


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