3D Bioprinting is Medicines Next Frontier by Sam Wadsworth

In an age where new medical technologies are in such high demand, wouldn’t a 3D bioprinter be useful? In this talk, Dr. Sam Wadsworth explains he sees a future full of bioprinted human airways and organs.

Sam is a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He completed his Ph.D. in respiratory cell biology in the UK before relocating to Vancouver in 2007 to work as an academic researcher at St. Paul’s Hospital.

In 2013, Sam co-founded a biotechnology company that uses a unique bioprinting technology that has the potential to revolutionise how we treat disease and the ageing process.

He sees a future where human tissues can be provided on demand, where donor organs are built, not harvested, and where drugs are tested on bioprinted artificial tissues, not animals.


About Sam Wadsworth, PhD

Dr. Wadsworth is a world leader in the field of human airway engineering and has published many peer-reviewed papers on related research. Dr. Wadsworth completed his Ph.D. in respiratory cell biology at the University of Nottingham, UK, and was previously a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the UBC’s Centre for Heart Lung Innovation.

Since 2011, Dr. Wadsworth has spearheaded the BioAirway Research Offering New Concepts in Health (BRONCH) partnership, an inter-disciplinary, cross-Canada research project to develop in vitro 3D human airway tissues.


What is 4D Bioprinting?

Recently, ‘time’ has been integrated with 3D bioprinting as the fourth dimension, so-called ‘4D bioprinting’, where printed objects (e.g., biocompatible responsive materials or cells) are capable of changing their shapes or functionalities with time when an external stimulus is imposed.

This advance in printing responsive materials that can change their shape, or materials that can reorganize with cellular self-organization, has broadened the applications of 4D bioprinting in various biomedical fields, such as tissue engineering and drug delivery.



Bioprinting, though a fairly new concept, has a very promising future. The waiting list for an organ transplant is over 120,000 people! Bioprinting would drastically decrease this number. However, if we were to allow people to use this as a new means to replace failing organs, what would it mean for the future of our society?