Dong-Woo Cho, director of the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Lab at the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Korea, is working together with his colleagues to apply mechanical engineering know-how to biofabrication. Potential applications for the team’s work include the repair of complex bone and cartilage injuries, as well as non-transplant based treatments for end-stage liver disease.

Cho has long been interested in the use of 3D printing technology to fabricate micro-sized structures, and in the early 2000s he chose to make the jump into biofabrication. “We had the chance to discuss our research with medical doctors and there was a hint that microstructures could have a dramatic impact on cell activity,” he recalls. “That motivated us to work with biocompatible materials.”