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Aether and UCL Researchers Democratizing 3D Printed Nanotech at 2% of Competitor Cost

Aether, the pioneer of AI enhanced 3D bioprinting, has announced a collaboration with researchers from University College London (“UCL”) and Loughborough University to develop a powerful new approach to 3D printing nanotechnology.

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The collaboration will focus on development of an ink containing nanoparticles which can act as a nanosurgical tool, a delivery system for pharmaceuticals and bioactives, or a mechanical and structural support system. The ink can be used as a platform technology for the 3D printing of biomaterials and scaffolds, which may be designed toward the user’s system of choice.

Nanoparticles developed for this ink respond to specified wavelengths, which allow for targeted release of the carrier agent and/or degradation of the surroundings (including biomaterial surroundings), enabling controlled deterioration of the material.

“Combining 3D printing with nanotechnology is the beginning of a new generation of medical research. The problem is that the few startups in this field are being incredibly greedy. They don’t care how powerful a tool this is in the fight against cancer, these companies won’t let a researcher even dip a toe in the water unless they get paid well over a million dollars,” said Ryan Franks, CEO and Founder of Aether. "We don’t agree with holding a life-saving technology hostage so a few executives and investors can get rich, so we’re fighting to democratize it."

The project will use a custom Aether 3D bioprinter featuring a laser system at an application-specific wavelength. The laser system will be seamlessly integrated into the bioprinter and controlled with a simple and intuitive user interface.

Additionally, Aether will evaluate how its existing and in-development computer vision and machine learning capabilities can automate, speed up, simplify and improve the process of fabrication, agent activation, and controlled material deterioration.

Adding nanotechnology capabilities to Aether’s multi-tool 3D printer opens up a far broader range of applications than what’s possible with current products, such as two photon lithography printers, while lowering the cost of admission by approximately 98%.

Laser-activated nanomaterials have a broad range of biology applications, such as photothermal destruction of cancer cells, cancer detection, gene therapy, drug delivery, and nerve regeneration. Further applications range from nanofabrication in materials science to nanoelectronics in quantum computing.

UCL is known throughout the world as one of the very finest universities, while Loughborough University was awarded the 2019 University of the Year in both the Times and Sunday Times.


Aether is a San Francisco technology startup and maker of Aether 1, the world's most advanced 3D bioprinter.

Up to 24 simultaneous tools enable users to combine more tool and material types than any 3D printer in the world, while computer vision automates difficult and time-consuming calibration tasks.

Aether is also developing an AI software product for the advanced visualization of medical images, featuring fully automatic organ and tissue segmentation.



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Last Updated: 22-Jan-2019