Inside a tiny office on the second floor of a South Philadelphia makerspace, the future looks like a large, greenish booger. The machine responsible for printing such an object: the BioBot, a bioprinter that prints living cell tissue and resembles a MakerBot.
Invented and manufactured by the appropriately named startup BioBots, the BioBot printer is the brainchild of a pair of University of Pennsylvania alumni. The booger-like substance this Fortune reporter encountered was merely a mixture of water and biocompatible material. Now suppose human stem cells, in addition to the water and biomaterial, had been part of the mixture. In that case, the BioBot’s final product would have been bioprinted stem cell tissue, which could then be matured into cartilage or other, different types of cells.