Proof that there isn’t anything you can’t build with LEGO, a group of researchers at Cardiff University in Wales have constructed a bioprinter out of LEGO capable of the precision necessary to print synthetic human skin. The whole setup was relatively inexpensive to build, too, at around £500 (~$620). Awesome, I do have several firework-related scars that could use some grafting.
How does the printer work? I’m glad you asked. According to the researchers, “A nozzle ejects a gel-like substance, which is full of cells, onto a dish. At the heart of the device is a mini LEGO Mindstorms computer. This device moves the dish backward and forwards and side to side while moving the nozzle up and down mechanically as it extrudes the gel full of cells. These programmable movements build up layers of the cells to replicate the 3D structure of human tissue, layer by layer.” Cool, but what does it taste like?
Am I going to build my own LEGO bioprinter and start an Etsy shop selling synthetic human skin? I suppose that depends on whether there are any laws against it. Because if there are, then you can find me on eBay by searching ‘cyborg skin.’