Bioprinting winning converts in Singapore

Scientists around the world are waking up to the possibilities of bioprinting now that it's possible to squirt blood vessels, lymph nodes, skin and hair out of a nozzle on a desktop machine. Soon, they believe, it might be possible to print functioning organs for transplant into humans, according to a recent report in the Southeast Asia Globe. Officials at the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) say they've caught up with Europe and the United States in bioprinting and 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, the report said. "Singapore's 3-D-printing capabilities are comparable to the developed countries, as our government has been investing heavily in this area," said Mike Goh, senior assistant director at the center, according to the Globe. "SC3DP has one of the best-equipped labs in the world [for 3-D printing] and has been attracting leading researchers to the centre. … We can make Singapore a leading center for 3-D printing in the world." Goh said he believes Singapore's expertise in 3-D printing will help the country make the leap to bioprinting and pointed to the 2013 creation of Bio3D Technologies, which was the country's first company specializing in bioprinting. In June this year the company launched the world's first foldable 3-D bioprinter, the Bio3D Explorer, which company co-founder Mingwei Fan said would benefit the research industry first before it is able to produce anything like a bioprinted organ. Full organs that are bioprinted may be a distant dream, but smaller test organs have already been created by researchers in Australia, which they hope to use for drug testing. In another development for Singapore, Procter & Gamble has a program underway in which researchers can submit proposals for applications of bioprinting that would be relevant to the company in return for grants. This is part of a $43 million program promoted by the government's Agency for Science, Technology and Research. Report