The main goal in biofabrication approach is to build living tissue substitutes on demand. In order to create functional tissue structures, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies are being increasingly considered. They allow generating functional structures created out of CAD models within a short period of time and with a very high precision. Different techniques are already established to build three-dimensional (3D) complex cell-loaded structures. One of these robotic additive fabrication techniques is the ink jet technology which is highly promising for biofabrication. This technique allows to process very small amounts of liquids or low-viscous polymer solutions e.g. to set biomolecules and cells in a suitable structure. The aim of this study is to evaluate a piezo inkjet printing device which is integrated in a commercial modular instrument platform together with a bioplotting system for biofabrication. The inkjet device is able to print single ink droplets of different volumes by controlling the applied voltage and the number of drops released to the spot. In this work different selective sets of parameters influencing the droplet formation and the spot size have been investigated. It has been proven that inkjet printing process in combination with fibrin hydrogel and bone marrow stromal cells is cytocompatible. In summary, the applied piezo inkjet printing is shown to be completely programmable, accurate and the resolution of the device allowed printing of various patterns with biomaterials and vital cells.
This work was supported by the Emerging Fields Initiative (EFI) of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (project TOPbiomat and Synthetic Biology). The HCT cells where delivered by the Institute of Pathology (Experimental Tumor Pathology led by Prof. Dr. R. Schneider-Stock) at the University Hospital Erlangen.
Conflict of interest: Authors state no conflict of interest.
Materials and methods
Informed consent: Informed consent has been obtained from all individuals included in this study.
Ethical approval: The research related to human use has been complied with all the relevant national regulations, institutional policies and in accordance the tenets of the Helsinki Declaration, and has been approved by the authors’ institutional review board or equivalent committee.
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