Once known as a maker favorite, Lulzbot 3D printer manufacturer Aleph Objects, Inc. has branched out significantly in recent years, bringing to market professional desktop systems and 3D printer accessories to improve the viability of desktop printing for industrial use. Now, the company is entering a whole new domain in the additive sphere: bioprinting.
Aleph Objects has just announced a partnership with FluidForm Inc., a 3D bioprinting company formed out of a research project at Carnegie Mellon University’s Regenerative Biomaterials and Therapeutics Group. Together, Aleph Objects and FluidForm are preparing to launch new bioprinting solutions onto the market. The first product offering is expected to be released this summer.
FluidForm Inc. has pioneered a bioprinting platform called FRESH 3D printing (Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels), which uses a needle-deposition system to 3D print bioinks and other soft materials. The process leverages “the power of non-newtonian gels to allow movement through a material like it’s a liquid, while supporting deposited material like it’s a solid.” The FRESH 3D bioprinting approach can produce biological scaffolds for a number of applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
“Combining proven expertise in professional 3D printers and hardware with 3D biofabrication technology is going to be an absolute game-changer,” said Aleph Objects CEO and President Grant Flaharty. “The market for 3D bioprinters and 3D bioprinted tissues is estimated to grow to $1.9 billion by 2028.”
Today, the bioprinting market is seeing significant advances, as the technology is being used in labs around the world for producing tissue scaffolds and complex biological structures. Still, we still have a long way to go before implantable, fully functional tissues and organs are realized. By working together, FluidForm and Aleph Objects hope to make their contribution to the future of bioprinting.
“We’re still at the very beginning of being able to build real functional tissues with 3D bioprinting,” explained FluidForm CTO Adam Feinberg. “Collaborations like the one we are building with LulzBot will help make this a reality faster.”
Bioprinting is a disruptive technology that has grabbed the attention of the pharmaceutical, regenerative medicine, drug screening, cell-based biosensor, cosmetic and food industries. Beyond the most publicized future application of bioprinting implantable organs, the technology can also be a game-changer through its ability to replace animal testing by creating clinically-relevant, three dimensional human tissue models.
Though few details have been divulged about the partnership between Aleph Objects and FluidForm, we are eager to learn about their upcoming bioprinting products.