But it’s no accident why the CEO of the world’s first bio-ink company brought his business to Blacksburg.

 

“3-D printing has been really big at Virginia Tech University,” Gatenholm said, “and we believe that we can bring in a lot of bright people into the company and utilize them and help us build this technology.”

 

Gatenholm, a Tech graduate himself, created CELLINK “to change the world of medicine” by using 3-D bio printing to replicate tissue. While it’s not ready to be used for implants yet, doctors are using this technology for things like printing tumors to test treatments for cancer patients.

 

What makes this particular lab stand out are the young faces doing the research.

 

“We guys who have spent some time in the industry, we’ll get ingrained and we’ll walk the same path over and over,” said software developer Ramon Rodriguez. “So new blood, that’s going to enable us to find new paths that we’ve just missed until this point, I’m sure of that.”

 

CELLINK recently introduced a new 3-D bio printer designed specifically for high schools, where Gatenholm is hoping to cultivate untapped potential.

 

“There’s a lot going on in biology right now and the field of biotech is growing tremendously, and we see that a lot of younger people and younger students are opening their eyes for the biological sciences and seeing what you can do,” he said.

 

And as far as the future for CELLINK? The possibilities are endless.

 

“We don’t know what Bio 3-D printing is going to do in the future. We don’t know what part it’s going to play, all we can say for sure is that it’s going to play a part,” Rodriguez said.

 

Besides the Blacksburg location, CELLINK has centers in Massachusetts, California and in Sweden. Its technology is being used in more than 40 countries around the world.

 

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