Development of a Low-Cost Platform for 3D Bioprinting Applications (1)

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Poster Presentation

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Three-dimensional (3D) printing using a variety of metals and polymers is a driving force in revolutionizing engineering, art, education and medicine. Accordingly, new adaptations of conventional 3D printing approaches allow for the use of biocompatible materials to build functional tissues and organs. This process, which maintains cell function and viability, is called 3D bioprinting. This nascent technology is transforming the study of regenerative medicine and organ transplantation. An entry barrier for those looking to take advantage of this approach is that commercially manufactured 3D bioprinters can be costly and out of reach for the average undergraduate researcher. Here, we describe the development of a cost-effective approach to bioprinting. The approach involves the use of a low-cost and slightly modified consumer-grade 3D printer and a syringe pump. The aim of the project is to allow the user to build customized scaffolds for cells using materials such as agarose, alginate and collagen. By incorporating simple cooling and heating systems our platform is able to build structures made of agarose gel. Ongoing refinement of the bioprinting platform is currently directed towards the building of 3- dimensional constructs using “bioink”, a cell-laden hydrogel. Bioprinting platforms similar to the one described here may offer students at primarily undergraduate institutions the opportunity to work with state of the art approaches in cell biology and bioengineering.


Presented at the Rochester Academy of Science Fall Annual Scientific Paper Session at Roberts Wesleyan College on November 12, 2016.

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