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Photo via BioBots
Photo via BioBots

With 3D printers everywhere, making everything from Yoda statues to bionic body parts, this company is using 3D printing to make new body tissue.

BioBots, a team from the University of Pennsylvania, does just that. They’ve developed a $5,000 3D printer that actually prints functional living tissue. The company just snagged the Most Innovative Company at SXSW’s Accelerator Awards.

And while most of the living tissue BioBots is creating these days is for drug research — to make it less expensive and take animals out of the mix — one day, it could print new organs for transplants.

Photo via YouTube/BioBots
Photo via YouTube/BioBots

“If we could somehow reveal the failures before testing drugs on people, we would be able to identify false positives much earlier in the drug development process,” CEO and co-founder Danny Cabrera told Forbes. “The problem is in animal testing – mice are not humans, and tests on animals often fail to mimic human diseases or predict how the human body responds to new drugs.

“The Holy Grail is to develop fully functioning replacement organs out of a patient’s own cells, eliminating the organ waiting list, but in the meantime we’ll settle for getting more drugs approved by the FDA at a significantly lower cost on an accelerated time scale, improving the quality of life for millions of people around the world.”

Watch one of their amazing YouTube videos print an ear below:

 

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