3D Printed and Synthetic Biology to make Rhino Horn and elephant Ivory

Pembient is leveraging advances in biotechnology to fabricate wildlife products, such as rhino horn and elephant ivory, at prices below the levels that induce poaching. Our goal is to replace the illegal wildlife trade, a $20 billion black market, the fourth largest after drug, arms, and human trafficking, with sustainable commerce.

Rhino horn is thought to have powers as a cure for cancer, an aphrodisiac and a cure-all in some Asian nations. It currently sells for $30,000 to 60,000 a pound. The average rhino horns weigh around six to eight pounds, meaning one single poaching of a rhino could easily bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Pembient conducted a survey of 500 Vietnamese rhino horn users to find that 45 percent said they would be willing to use a lab-made substitute.

This would still be a multi-billion market for Pembient and would reduce the trade in those animal products.

The additive manufacturing market for printing metal and plastic is still less then $4 billion per year. This is a potentially bigger market than the current 3D printing markets.

Pembient has been successful in creating an imitation rhino horn powder, which they have plans to market as a substitute for the medical uses the horns are utilized for. They are now investigating the possibilities of creating full, lab-grown/printed rhino horn in order to provide an alternative for those individuals who are willing to either spend a fortune on the horns or kill a rhinoceros themselves. One method that they are currently investigation is the 3D printing of replica horns, made of the same biological substances that the real horns are made of.

There are other animal products that could be targeted
* tigers bones

* pangolin scales.

Endangered large animals

There is plenty of research on the collapse of the wild population of rhino and other large animals.

Pembient Lab

Pembient’s lab was shown at Techcrunch

SOURCES – Pembient, Techcrunch, 3dprint