The Biofabrication Process

What is Biofabrication?

Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done.” -Robert Heinlein

The Process

Biofabrication is an aspect of regenerative medicine that refers to the production of human tissues from organic and synthetic sources.

Step 1: Cell Culture and Harvest

Cell culture and harvest is the process of growing living cells in a lab environment or extracting specific cells from human or animal tissue.

This stage includes:

test tubes being filled with a pipette
3D printer in action while a man looks on

Step 2: Scaffold Fabrication

Scaffold fabrication is the process of creating structures that support the growth of living cells. 3D printing is most often used to create the structures.

Step 3: Tissue Maturation & Bioreactor Culture

Tissue maturation and bioreactor culture is the process where tissues are grown on scaffolds in a sterile, controlled environment to become a usable product.

This stage includes:

an ear made out of manufactured tissue
operating room where surgery is taking place

Step 4: Preservation, Packaging, & Transport

Preservation, packaging and transport are the processes where the tissue products are safely moved from a controlled growth environment to the patient.

This stage includes:

The Role of Automation

As the biofabrication industry grows, the importance of automated manufacturing will greatly increase.

Scientists, researchers, and doctors have discovered how to create human tissues in the lab. Now it is up to engineers, manufacturing technicians, and industrial workers to mass-produce them.

The goal of using automation in biofabrication is to mass-manufacture organs and make sure they are available to the thousands of people who need them.