University-developed 3D tissue bioprinting technology now commercially available

Swansea University life science technology spin out company 3Dynamic Systems Ltd (3DS) has announced the availability of its two 3D bioprinting machines – the Alpha and Omega bioprinters.

3DS Dr Daniel ThomasThese two new machines are capable of depositing a range of biologically active and biologically compatible materials, with applications for life sciences research, regenerative medicine, bone tissue engineering, and pharmaceutical development.

3DS, which is based at the University, was founded by Dr Daniel J Thomas (pictured), Senior Research Officer in the College of Engineering’s Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC).

Dr Thomas has conducted extensive research in the field of manufacturing and 3D printing and, as a result of his work at the WCPC, is ready to commercialise his 3D bioprinting systems, with the aim of opening up bioprinting research by providing quality machines to researchers who want to harness the power of 3D bioprinting technology.

“These bioprinters are capable of depositing a range of biologically active and biologically compatible materials,” said Dr Thomas. “The company is working to fabricate 3D transplantable bone and complex tissue constructs on demand.

“This exciting breakthrough in tissue engineering technology developed by 3DS could one day be used to treat severely injured patients and samples of the tissues that the machines produce are currently on display at the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at National Museum of Health and Medicine Silver Spring, Maryland.”

The systems use a layer-by-layer additive fabrication method for building three-dimensional functional living macro tissues systems, using biologically active materials.  These stem cellular-based materials have measurable biological properties which later mature into a living tissue structure.

3DS AlphaThe first system is the 3Dynamic Alpha Series, which is a single extrusion bone tissue fabrication platform. This machine produces calcium phosphate-based bone for regenerating severe non-stabilised fractures.

By accurately depositing a special bone composite in 3D, the correct anatomical geometry is produced. This material is seeded with platelet-derived growth factor, which creates the right environment for tissue regeneration by recruiting stem cells that can produce bone and forming a supportive structure, including blood vessels.

3DS OmegaThe second system is the dual extrusion 3Dynamic Omega Series bioprinter, which is used to make three dimensional soft tissue constructs. Currently this is capable of producing heterogeneous tissues which are used for pharmaceutical testing trials.

This technique is also being explored as a method for bioprinting different tissues including; muscle, adipose and skin. With this technology, techniques are being developed which could be an effective means toward producing transplantable complex tissues on demand.

Dr Thomas added: “3DS easy-to-use technology could see a greater adoption of bioprinting research and further innovation in the short-term by enabling researches in the field to effectively produce experimental tissues and multiple tissue types on demand.

“As a result the bioprinting technology developed by 3DS could one day transform the field of reconstructive medicine which may lead to direct bio-engineering replacement human tissues on-demand for transplantation.

“This exciting technology could yield a vibrant bio-manufacturing technological revolution.”

For more information visit:

Image captions:

1) The 3Dynamic Systems Alpha Bone Tissue Workstation, which is a special 3D Printer that produces biocompatible trabecular bone structures.

2) 3Dynamic Systems Omega Tissue Engineering Workstation, which is a dual extrusion 3D bioprinter used to generate heterogeneous tissues using a printable bioactive gel, protein growth factors and scaffolds which mature into living tissue structures.