A “Golden Age” is defined as a period of time in a field where “great tasks are accomplished.” The ancient Greek philosopher Hesiod initially coined this phrase, and I think if he were alive today, he would agree with us that we are in a special time of technology convergence where innovations and advancements are progressing at an accelerating rate. The fields of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine are benefiting from these rapid technological advancements.
We are now at the beginning of the Golden Age of BioFabrication. The last 20 years have seen steady progress in the Tissue Engineering field, but the cost and time it has taken to develop products based on these technologies have been prohibitive. Thus, only the best-funded labs have been able to perform this very expensive R&D. Within the last year, products such as high volume stem cells (via RoosterBio) and low-cost bioprinters (from our collaborators BioBots) have been coming to market and dramatically reduce the cost, the time, and the complexity to fabricate three dimensional biological structures that are the precursors to tomorrow’s tissue-engineered products. By removing the technology and cost barriers and democratizing biofabrication technology, more labs can now afford to do the applied R&D, allowing more work to be accomplished faster, completely changing the equation of how labs function. This is accelerating the development of this entire field.
Walter Isaacson makes the point over and over in his new book The Innovators that collaboration between people and groups with complementary skill sets is essential to innovation and technology progress. We, at RoosterBio, have always said that communication platforms (such as social networks, conferences, biohacker spaces, blogs, and journals) are also critical for those in a field to share knowledge and experiences – further progressing the thought convergence. This February 9th and 10th in Boston is a focused conference on Tissue Engineering and BioPrinting that SelectBio is hosting. The top researchers thought leaders, and product developers in the field will be presenting cutting-edge research, technology development, and commercialization strategies. We hope to see you there.