‘Lab-in-a-box’ in development with help from 3D printing

BiologIC Technologies (Cambridge, UK) has announced an installation of the Stratasys (MN, USA) J826 3D printer to help in a project to develop the first ‘desktop PC of biology’. 

With a digital bio-processing unit already in development, the BiologIC team hopes to be able to speed up laboratory processes to benefit food science, medicine and fuels. The team hopes to be able to additively manufacture the device to benefit potentially thousands of laboratories. 

Our ‘lab-in-a-box’ draws inspiration from advances in 3D printing and the semiconductor’s long and successful history,” explained Nick Rollings, Co-Founder of BiologIC.

Importantly, our instrument could be used to create biology by design and on-demand, whether it’s to treat patients on-site or make the latest biofuels. We believe this device will enable the next industrial revolution,” Rollings added.

But the cost and time implications of creating such a device and bringing it to reality with a working prototype was the stumbling block. Ultimately, 3D printing was the technology capable of overcoming this problem,” Rollings continued.

Capable of 3D printing designs in transparent materials and of different rigidity has enabled the team to add an element of quality control to the device, as researchers are able to visualize the inner workings of the device, monitoring the quality and performance of the sample inside. The precision movement of fluids is also enhanced with the digital tools and materials available.

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Understanding the flexibility and freedom additive manufacturing has to offer has also enabled the BiologIC team to flip the ‘traditional’ life sciences business model, creating further business potential. 

With our in-house J826, we can build and test cartridges constantly and show potential customers and investors our rapid development process in real time. This is something unachievable with other traditional life science R&D processes. This flexibility has led directly to our early adopter program with other high-science and biology companies, resulting in faster innovation and greater success overall,” Richard Vellacott, Co-Founder of BiologIC further commented.

The team are working on the development of an R&D process that may fully exploit the benefits of 3D printing, perhaps even manufacturing cartridges on-demand.

This new era of biology by design will create significant disruptive value across many industries and will help solve some of the biggest issues of today, including climate change, environmental sustainability and better health through new foods, fuels and precision medicines,” Vellacott concluded.

Source: Stratasys press release;

Lead image: With its Stratasys J826 3D Printer, BiologIC can build and test cartridges and show potential customers and investors its rapid development process in real time – something, it says, is unachievable with other traditional life science R&D processes. Courtesy of Stratasys. 

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