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Constructing appropriate bioprinting regulations: the ethical importance of recognising a liminal technology
  1. Megan Frances Moss
  1. School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Megan Frances Moss, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; megan.moss1{at}


This article provides an analysis of bioprinting personalised medical device technology and its ethical challenges to regulation and research ethics. I argue the inclusion of bioprinting applications within existing regulatory frameworks does not adequately address the technologies disruption to the traditionally siloed activities of research and treatment. Using the conceptual framework of liminality, I offer a meaningful way to engage with this technology and address some identified concerns with how it will be categorised and the appropriate recognition of its evidentiary thresholds. I demonstrate these concerns through the exploration of limited conventional research methodologies tasked with the production of generalisable knowledge, specifically population-based evidence that is derived from Randomised Clinical Trials. I use Australian regulatory amendments introduced in 2021 as an example of current regulatory trajectories and highlight why I believe this approach to be insufficient. The significance of this argument will be to demonstrate the disruption of bioprinting applications to current approaches in medical policy, and how various jurisdictions are enacting regulation that is not fit for purpose.

  • policy
  • ethics- research
  • bioprinting

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  • Contributors The author takes responsibilty for the planning, conduct and presentation of this article. MFM

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.