- George Banis (Project Leader)
- Kim Chan
- Chris Marki
- Scott Lisa
Advisor: C. Wagner
Tissue and organ shortages are endemic issues that force more than 120,000 people in the United States to suffer while waiting for an available replacement donation. Tissue-engineered constructs utilizing polymer scaffolds are being investigated as viable substitutions to resolve this need. Fused deposition of a designed model is a novel 3D-printing fabrication method that can produce these scaffolds in a biologically supported environment. Our project aims are two-fold: to produce cartilage by facilitating chondrogenesis from rat mesenchymal stem cells (rMSCs), and to modify the current bioprinter design to address the construct requirements. The bioprinting process consists of four phases: Phase I is initiated by a software interface to heat a nozzle to extrude a layer-by-layer filament of polycaprolactone, then guide a moveable stage in the pathway of a pre-defined image to produce a three-dimensional scaffold. During Phase II, the scaffold is aseptically prepared for cell deposition using ultraviolet irradiation. Phase III occurs within a novel environmental heating chamber, where rMSCs are dispensed onto the scaffold which is immersed in a collagen I solution to promote cell adhesion. Phase IV transfers the construct to the cell culturing station, where biochemical additives will be applied to promote cell differentiation and chondrocyte growth. The design will be evaluated based on in-vitro results from scaffold surface morphology, cell viability after deposition, and cartilage-specific material content.