By: Hayin Candiotti, Brian Karl, Kendra Knowles, Dana Mathews & Kyle Mohen (MEC)
Advisers: Dr. C. Hall & Dr. M. Paliwal (MEC)
To address the donor shortage for tissue and organ transplants, researchers have developed cell-based substitutes that restore function. For tissue constructs, a typical approach incorporates cell seeding onto a polymer scaffold and introduction of essential biochemicals to support cell adhesion and proliferation. A novel scaffold fabrication technique known as fused deposition modeling (FDM) is characterized by continuous layer-by-layer extrusion of a thermoplastic polymer filament. The device under development will implement this technique to create customizable, reproducible constructs that support cell growth. The FDM Bioprinter will use a computer-guided movable stage to minimize user contact throughout the stepwise process: 1) fabrication, 2) sterilization, and 3) cell deposition. Precise cell deposition will limit cell injury by minimizing vibrational and shear forces. The success of our design will be assessed via microscopic evaluation of scaffold surface morphology and quantification of cell viability.