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Making automated biofab a reality

NSF Award:

2009 Research Infrastructure Improvement Grant  (South Carolina Research Authority)

Congressional Districts:
Research Areas:

Have you ever bought a product stamped "some assembly required," only to find that an important piece was missing when you opened the box? What if you could fabricate the missing part without ever leaving home? Technology involving 3-D printing is making do-it-yourself parts fabrication a reality. This relatively new and exciting field has many applications, including biomedicine.

South Carolina researcher Xuejun Wen has developed a robotic spheroid fabricator that allows researchers to fabricate an unlimited amount of live spheroids every day and makes the biofabrication of 3-D large tissues and organs possible.

Wen is funded in part by the South Carolina Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) project, which focuses on engineering functional tissues and organs. Researchers are developing methods to overcome both the engineering and biological challenges bioengineered materials present. Wen's work effectively solves one of the major engineering problems of this project.

The results of this research may transform biofabrication and many biomedical fields by providing an option and the technology to fabricate new or real existing organs using bioprinting techniques.


  • bio-fabricated organs are built using microscopic spheroids
Bio-fabricated organs are built using these microscopic spheroids.
Xuejun Wen, Clemson University

Recent Award Highlights

a blood vessel fabricated with a 3-d printer

Bioprinting yields a blood vessel

3-D blood vessel fabricated from cells, growth factors and intracellular 'glue'

Research Areas: Engineering Locations: South Carolina
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Nanotubes help repair cardiac tissue

Nanoscale platform promotes cardiac cell growth

Research Areas: Nanoscience, Engineering Locations: South Carolina