The Finnish company Brinter, which is the bioprinting branch of the 3D printer developer 3DTech Oy, showcased its newly-launched device at Nordic Life Sciences Days in Malmö, Sweden, as part of the innovation growth in the region that the industry has seen during the last years.
Brinter 1, the device which is now commercially available, utilizes the layer-by-layer method used in 3D printing to deposit ‘bioink,’ a mixture of cells, supporting matrix material, and nutrients, to create tissue-like constructs.
These constructs can be used in tissue engineering research, as well as for toxicity testing of drug compounds in biopharmaceutical R&D.
Tomi Calpio, the company’s chief development officer, told us that the device is ‘very versatile’ compared to other bioprinters available, due to its ability to combine completely different materials, such as electrical installation components and cellulose.
“The main idea was to create a true multi-bioprinter, able to handle from very low viscosity water-based materials, to very high viscosity pastes, such as ceramic or silicon-based materials and everything in between, and combine them into the same production,” Kalpio told us.
Because of this flexibility, according to Kalpio, the machine can be used for various R&D or production purposes and assist in the development of treatments for diseases including cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
Researchers using Brinter 1 can also change the different printing heads supported as well as to “scale the machines from desktop units to mass production units, by driving the material palettine through, printing, and taking it out from the other side.”
Furthermore, the bioprinter is a long-term investment for Brinter’s clients, said Kalpio, since the ability to operate different printing heads will keep the machine from being fast outdated.
Lack of knowledge and protocols
Despite the benefits of 3D printing, Kalpio suggests that the industry’s lack of knowledge about how to utilize the technology is a challenge to adoption.
Additionally, “the necessary regulatory aspects and protocols regarding the use of this technology are not yet established, and there is still a gap in the know-how compared to traditional techniques,” Kalpio said.
However, according to Brinter’s CDO, it is only a matter of time before this challenge will be addressed, with the use of bioprinted materials expected to significantly grow during the following years.