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BioCurious DIY BioPrinter

BioCurious DIY BioPrinter

Did you know you can print live cells from an inkjet printer? Companies like Organovo are developing ways to 3-D print human tissues and organs. But the basic technologies are so accessible that we wanted to play around with them ourselves.

BioCurious has built its own functioning bioprinter from a couple of old CD drives, an inkjet cartridge and an Arduino. We probably won't be printing human organs any time soon, but how about printing a leaf from plant cells? Or add a BlueRay laser to turn it into a miniature laser cutter to print "lab-on-a-chip" microfluidic devices.

BioCurious community projects are open to anyone, and are driven entirely by whoever wants to show up and participate.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Eri Gentry, Executive Director
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: BioCurious
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • LOCATION: California -
  • PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
  • COST: More than $50
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    Sign up on the BioCurious Web site.

See more projects in CaliforniaMore than $50FieldworkAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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