The project began in the dorms of the University of Pennsylvania last year and quickly moved to the DreamIt Health Accelerator in Philadelphia last fall, before winning awards at South By Southwest and TechCrunch Disrupt in the past few months.
The key part of BioBots is in the biomaterial that comes in the interchangeable cartridges, which Cabrera says will sell for $700 each and have a month-long shelf life.
Building living tissues nearly from scratch isn't a brand new science. Researchers have used lab animals as hosts to grow functioning organs for people in need of transplants and yes, even human ears. Even 3D printing artificial biological material has been around for a few years, using experimental "bio-inks" and designs for printable skin grafts, just for starters.
The biomaterial consists of three powders which must be mixed with a fourth binding factor powder, along with whatever type of living cells the user wants to print. All this is mixed together and put into the device which then pushes it through a syringe onto a tissue culture dish in the build area where the blue light is applied.