Transplanting is not the only way to get a new nose, ear, cartilage or bone. Biomaterials churned out with “bio-ink” and a coffee machine-sized 3D bioprinter are the new alternative, and this is not Twilight Zone.

Cellink, a Swedish company, with a nimble team of 20 people, are making the rounds pedalling the printers around the world, particularly in China. Founded in January last year, it raised investor eyebrows by going public on the Nasdaq within 10 months, with its shares 1070 per cent oversubscribed.

“3D bio-printing makes it possible for you to engineer cells to grow into a heart valve to replace one that is damaged from heart disease,” Gusten Danielsson, chief financial officer with Sweden-based Cellink told the South China Morning Post in an interview.

“Our core technology is bioink, and by using bioink combined with 3D-printing technology, you can create three-dimensional bio structures with living cells.”

3D bio-printing is particularly sought-after in the development of cosmetics products, in an era when more Western companies are marching towards reducing the need for animal trials.