Allevi, the 3D bioprinting company formerly known as BioBots, has announced a partnership with U.S. microgravity 3D printer developer Made In Space. Together, the two companies are to work on the Allevi ZeroG, a 3D bioprinter capable of working in low-gravity conditions.
3D printing in space
Made in Space is the company behind the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) – the first 3D printer on the International Space Station (ISS). The AMP is capable of 3D printing engineering-grade plastics in low-gravity environments, producing tools and other classified equipment.
Allevi 3D bioprinting on earth
Allevi’s aims as a biotechnology company are to make 3D tissue engineering easier, and more accessible to research labs.
The Allevi 1 is the company’s most recent release. A single-extrusion system, the Allevi 1 reportedly provides ““the smallest footprint, widest material capabilities and best price tag of any 3D bioprinter on the market.”
The company’s other systems include the Allevi 2 dual extrusion bioprinter and the Allevi 6, which has 6 printheads.
Zero gravity tissue engineering
According to Allevi, the forthcoming ZeroG 3D bioprinter will “allow scientists […] to simultaneously run experiments both on the ground and in space to observe biological differences that occur with and without gravity.”
The 3D bioprinter will work with living materials, such as human stem cells and, presumably, a range of gravity-resistant hydrogels/materials created to sustain cell life.
Additionally, Allevi is hopeful that the ZeroG will build the foundations for a technology that can 3D print regenerative therapies for injuries sustained by astronauts in deep space.
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Featured image shows the “Build Above” motto from the Made In Space homepage. Image via Made In Space