Medical & Dental

CELLINK announces new six-printhead 3D bioprinting platform

Swedish 3D bioprinter and materials developer CELLINK has announced the launch of BIO X6, a new six-printhead bioprinting system that allows the combination of multiple materials, cells and tools. It also features an intelligent exchangeable printhead system and CELLINK’s patented Clean Chamber Technology to enhance advanced research and clinical applications. 

“Being able to use different pressures, temperatures and printing methods simultaneously in six different positions is revolutionary,” said Itedale Namro Redwan, Chief Scientific Officer at CELLINK.

“Users can mix the cells in each printhead with a tailored bioink, providing the cells with the biological environment they need to achieve the desired architecture.”

Workflow of BIO X6

BIO X6 is a benchtop standalone bioprinter that combines six exchangeable printheads. It is fully equipped with a quiet internal oil-free air compressor and temperature-controlled printbed surface. Users can control the 3D printer through the detachable touch screen tablet on the movable arm mount or wirelessly via Wi-Fi. While managing high-throughput bioprinting and dispensing, this compact system still maintains a small lab footprint.

Starting with the CELLMIXER, users can mix cells effortlessly by first loading the bioink and cell suspension into the dispensing units. The cartridges for bioprinting are then prepared simply by injecting the bioink and cells through the mixing unit. After placing the cartridge to the selected printheads, the users then specify print settings including temperature, printing pressure and print speed of their BIO X6. Press print and BIO X6’s auto-calibration will adjust itself to the print surface. For prints that require UV crosslinking, the built-in LEDs in BIO X6 will have automatically done the process. For other types of crosslinking, the crosslinking agent could be directly applied onto the printed construct by BIO X6 as well.

Clean Chamber Technology

Equipped with CELLINK’s patented Clean Chamber Technology, BIO X6 can facilitate a sterile environment for bioprinting in a fast, easy and user-friendly manner. To ensure no unwanted particles get trapped in the chamber, the BIO X6 is made without sharp corners. There are dual high-power fans to fill the chamber with filtered air, freeing the experiment environment from potential contaminants. UV-C germicidal lights enable BIO X6 to run sterilization cycles at any time and sterilize the printing environment before starting your experiments. Furthermore, BIO X6 fits perfectly in any laminar flow cabinet. A laminar flow cabinet is essential for clean bioprinting but impossible for most lab equipment.

Side view of BIO X6. Photo via CELLINK.

Exchangeable printheads

BIO X6 leverages up to six different printhead technologies to fabricate constructs with any cell type. The printheads are also exchangeable, offering unparalleled flexibility and versatility in bioprinting. Equipped with intelligent printhead mounts, the BIO X6 allows researchers to tailor and upgrade their systems easily. The selection of printheads and tool heads includes:  

  • Heated Pneumatic Head (65° C).
  • Thermoplastic Head (250°).
  • Temperature-controlled Pneumatic Head (4-65°).
  • Electromagnetic Droplet (EMD) Printhead (65°).
  • Syringe Pump Printhead.
  • Photo-curing Tool Head, for UV light in any wavelength.
  • HD Camera Tool Head.

Expanding clinical and research applications of bioprinting

Building upon its BIO X platform, BIO X6 aims to produce any tissue found in the body, promoting bioprinting applications in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and cancer biology. “Organs and tissues are comprised of many different cell types. With the BIO X6, users can combine six or more cell types to print advanced organ and tissue models,” Redwan added.  

A potential application of BIO X6 is the fabrication of multifaceted dermal constructs. Using six printheads in a single print, trilayered constructs comprised of distinct subcutaneous, dermis and epidermis layers, along with vascular networks, sweat glands and hair follicles can be created. BIO X6 has the capacity to produce the most physiologically mimicking constructs in the market.

Applied in drug screening, BIO X6 can aid the fabrication of complex metabolic tissue models. Users can fabricate live tissue models with hepatocytes and stellate cells, along with supporting structures like arterial structures, venous structures and biliary ducts in a single construct.

The BIO X6 can deposit cardiac tissue, liver tissue, renal tissue, pancreatic tissue in a single print. More support structures and vascular networks can be added in these cases. As users are able to connect multiple models through perfusable channels, BIO X6 also paves the way for fabricating advanced organ-on-a-chip models.

CELLINK’s new product BIO X6 is now available to order. 

Demonstration of CELLINK’s BIO X6. Photo via CELLINK.

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Featured image shows CELLINK’s six-printhead bioprinter BIO X6. Photo via CELLINK.