Sep 21, 2014 | By Dr Daniel J Thomas

Swansea University life science technology spin out company 3Dynamic Systems Ltd (3DS) has announced the availability of its two 3D bioprinting machines – the Alpha and Omega bioprinters.

These Alpha and Omega bioprinters machines are capable of depositing a range of biologically active and biologically compatible materials. The company is working to fabricate 3D transplantable bone and complex tissue constructs on demand. This exciting breakthrough in tissue engineering technology developed by 3DS could one day be used to treat severely injured patients.

3DS, which is based at the University, was founded by Dr Daniel J Thomas (pictured below), Senior Research Officer in the College of Engineering's Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC), with the aim of opening up bioprinting research by providing quality research machines to researchers who want to make 3D tissues.

The systems use a layer-by-layer additive fabrication method for building three-dimensional functional living macro tissues systems, using biologically active materials. These stem cellular-based materials have measurable biological properties which later mature into a living tissue structure.

All 3Dynamic Systems are autonomously software controlled and powered by sensitive electronics and mechanical parts. Compared to traditional 3D printing technologies, the 3Dynamic Systems have been designed with a consistent precision in two modes of operation. First they have high precision mode 10 micron running at a speed of up to 50mm/sec and then they have super high precision mode of 2 micron running at a speed of up to 2mm/sec.

These systems consist of the following elements:

  • Single and dual variable speed control syringe pump driver to accurately control the deposition of stem cell-based materials and scaffold material within a 3D space.
  • 3-axis computer numerical controlled chassis for positioning syringes to a 10μm degree of accuracy.
  • Integrated control system, built in electronics and control firmware.
  • Inbuilt stem cell incubation platform to maintain a precise sustaining temperature.
  • Camera system for real time monitoring and recording of the fabrication process.

3Dynamic Alpha Series

The first system is the 3Dynamic Alpha Series, which is a single extrusion bone tissue fabrication platform. This machine produces calcium phosphate-based bone for regenerating severe non-stabalised fractures. By accurately depositing a special bone composite in 3D, the correct anatomical geometry is produced. This material is seeded with platelet-derived growth factor which creates the right environment for tissue regeneration by recruiting stem cells that can produce bone and forming a supportive structure, including blood vessels.

The 3Dynamic Systems Alpha Bone Tissue Workstation which is a special 3D Printer that produces biocompatible trabecular bone structures.

System Specification

  • BUILD ENVELOPE: 150MM (X) X 100MM (Y) X 100MM (Z)
  • SYSTEM SIZE: 500 X 500MM
  • Every Alpha is built to order and is shipped within 4 weeks of order.
  • System Price: £12,800

3Dynamic Omega Series

The second system is the dual extrusion 3Dynamic Omega Series bioprinter which is used to make three dimensional soft tissue constructs. Currently this is capable of producing heterogeneous tissues which are used for pharmaceutical testing trials. This technique is also being explored as a method for bioprinting different tissues including; muscle, adipose and skin. With this technology, techniques are being developed which could be an effective means toward producing transplantable complex tissues on demand.

3Dynamic Systems Omega Tissue Engineering Workstation, which is a dual extrusion 3D bioprinter used to generate heterogeneous tissues using a printable bioactive gel, protein growth factors and scaffolds which mature into living tissue structures.

System Specification

  • BUILD ENVELOPE: 210MM (X) X 100MM (Y) X 60MM (Z)
  • SYSTEM SIZE: 500 X 750MM
  • System Price: £18,680

Every Omega is built to order and is shipped within 8 weeks of order.

3D-Bioprintable Structures

Data for the fabrication of 3D structures can be taken from CT scan, 3D Designs and/or 3D laser scan data. The application has been designed to fabricate 3D stem cell tissue structures, with future research this process is capable of also fabricating the following types of tissues, including:

  • Blood vessels and arteries;
  • Trachea structures;
  • Nerve filaments;
  • Tissue constructs;
  • Heart patches.


Currently the systems have been used to bioprint hydrogel-based soft tissue as well as a synthetic biocompatible bone made from Poly-capro-lactone, calcium phosphate and hydrogel matrix.

This macro 3D-Bioprinting method is also used to generate heterogeneous tissues by depositing a biogel mixture of living cells and appropriate scaffold materials. These pre-tissue constructs subsequently mature into a tissue over a three week period. This gives researchers in the field of tissue engineering the ability to study various tissue maturation processes.

Other compatible materials also include:

  • Polylactic acid (PLA)
  • Polyglycolic acid (PGA)
  • Polyethylene glycol derivatives (PEG)
  • Fibrin
  • Elastin
  • Collagen
  • Alginate
  • Agarose

Dr Thomas added: "3DS easy-to-use technology could see a greater adoption of bioprinting research and further innovation in the short-term by enabling researches in the field to effectively produce experimental tissues and multiple tissue types on demand.

"As a result the bioprinting technology developed by 3DS could one day transform the field of reconstructive medicine which may lead to direct bio-engineering replacement human tissues on-demand for transplantation.

"This exciting technology could yield a vibrant bio-manufacturing technological revolution."


Posted in 3D Printers

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JoeBozi wrote at 9/24/2014 10:30:25 AM:

I like this technology, having been bone back in 1938 before the advent of TV at home then one can appreciate the acceleration of technology, especially in recent years. 3D Printing has a tremendous potential to improve peoples lives, I have no doubt that these will lead towards helping a great many people. Great technology and brilliant article.

piotr1600 wrote at 9/24/2014 5:36:01 AM:

We have been, since roughly the middle of the last century, living in a sort of on-going technological golden age - which if things like this continue to be invented and grow into truly viable technologies, we will then be living in a kind of 'platinum' age of medicine.

Yeltsin wrote at 9/21/2014 8:26:29 PM:

Awesome article, really interesting research and machines.

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