Compact Mechanical Syringe Extruder for 3D Bioprinting of Cell Laden Gels

Tech ID: sar001178



Bioprinting is the layer-by-layer construction of synthetic tissues and organs that can be used for both research and medicine. While pneumatic and mechanical 3D printers are both commercially available, these systems are either expensive and/or unsuitable for bioprinting. For example, pneumatic systems are costly and require a high level of expertise to operate, while mechanical systems are bulky and require bioinks to transit through long tubing, which could damage living cells. Given the utility of 3D printed human tissues and the projected increase in their use, there is a great need for a 3D printing system that is bio-compatible and low-cost.


In addition to research and medicine, there is also a growing interest in 3D printing for commercial or home use. For example, restaurants and home enthusiasts would greatly benefit from a simple, low-cost, easy-to-use food printer. This technology would allow home cooks or those who do not enjoy cooking to produce food of similar quality to that produced by mass producers but with less salt, oil, and artificial additives. Further, 3D food printing can use food scraps that are traditionally thrown away or alternative ingredients, such as algae, and transform them into desirable food products. With the growing global population and prediction that traditional agricultural methods will be unable to sustain the expected 9 billion people inhabiting the earth, 3D food printing can be a tool to reduce food waste and provide food to as many people as possible.


Technology Description

Dr. Dhruv Sareen and Andrew R. Gross from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have developed a low-cost, compact mechanical 3D bioprinter that can precisely and rapidly extrude and retract bioinks. This system utilizes a custom-designed, quick-connect system to attach a syringe loaded with bioink to a linear actuator. The design enables the user to load bioinks in seconds without the use of any tools. In addition, the linear actuator drives the actuating shaft directly through the hub of the step motor, greatly reducing the size of the system. Further, this bioprinter does not require pneumatic tubing, rods, or other complex elements of existing systems.


Given its simplicity and low-cost, this printer can also be adapted for food printing, both at home and at top-tier restaurants, ultimately reducing waste and helping to feed the growing global population.


Stage of Development

Prototype available

Prototype has been used to produce detailed stem cell constructs that survived the bioprinting process and proliferated in synthetic extracellular matrix for more than a week





Easy to load

Rapid printing

Deposition of bioinks possible 5 seconds after loading

Does not require long tubes that bioinks must travel through

o Less damage to cells and less loss of cell volume

Allows for tissue/organ construct to have vasculature built in

o Key feature in realistic tissue and organ models

Adaptable for food printing



3D bioprinting of tissues and organs

3D printing of food


Intellectual Property

• U.S. Provisional Patent Application filed



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Julien Brohan
Andrew Gross
Dhruv Sareen
Stem Cells