Sourcing human tissue samples for scientific research poses significant challenges, including limited supply and restricted availability. To overcome these obstacles, a team of ingenious scientists at Cardiff University in Wales has devised a groundbreaking solution, a low-cost bioprinter constructed entirely from Lego bricks. This remarkable Lego-based bioprinter is capable of creating human tissue samples, revolutionizing the field of tissue engineering.
Traditional two-dimensional cell cultures fall short in replicating the complex architecture of human biology. Bioprinters, on the other hand, enable researchers to grow cells in three dimensions, providing a more accurate representation of human tissue. However, the high cost of commercial bioprinters has hindered accessibility for many research teams. Motivated by this challenge, the scientists embarked on a quest to develop an affordable 3D bioprinter, and Lego emerged as their solution of choice.
The Lego bioprinter, with its affordability, versatility, and precision, proved to be an ideal platform for tissue engineering. Leveraging the power of Lego Mindstorms and a lab pump, the team successfully designed and constructed a bioprinter that achieves the required precision to produce delicate biological material. The bioprinter functions by dispensing a gel-like substance containing cells onto a dish, meticulously replicating the intricate 3D structure of human tissue layer by layer.
Currently, the Lego bioprinter is being utilized to generate layers of skin cells, with the aim of developing a comprehensive skin model. By modifying the nozzles, the bioprinter can accommodate different types of cells, facilitating the study of both healthy and diseased skin and aiding in the development of novel treatments for various skin conditions.
What sets this innovation apart is the team's commitment to open-source knowledge. They have provided detailed instructions on how to construct the Lego bioprinter, ensuring that other research teams can benefit from this affordable alternative to commercial equipment. By democratizing access to bioprinting technology, this groundbreaking approach fosters groundbreaking research, advancing our understanding of biology and ultimately contributing to the improvement of human health.
Discover the intersection of Lego and cutting-edge science as Cardiff University pioneers the field of tissue engineering with their remarkable Lego bioprinter. Stay tuned for further developments and join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest news in additive manufacturing and scientific advancements.