Low Viscosity 3D Bioprinter Abstract

Medicine and technology have never been so closely entwined as they are today. Among the tools of biomedical engineering, one piece of novel technology stands out as an instrument to pioneer the future of design: The Bioprinter.

A bioprinter is a machine set up similar to a 3D-printer, which moves about a gantry, or skeleton and extrudes plastic to create models of filament. While 3D-printers use filament, bioprinters use a material called bio-ink which can form as a cartilage base for organic tissue. I propose constructing the thermoregulating gantry base of this bioprinter, the skeleton on which the machine operates. A gantry base is set up with motors spurring the movement of a tread system moving the printer’s nozzle head, or extruder, about in the Cartesian x, y, and z axis. The gantry base must be built with these tracks as well as a thermodynamic, or heat controlling system in order to regulate the temperature at which the machine prints. Too cold: the print may not stick together; too hot: it may well burn the organic part. I propose the following questions: Can a 3D Bioprinter’s temperature regulating gantry base assembled?  Can bioprinting technology be efficiently produced and easily manufactured?  Additionally, if it can or cannot, is there a way to improve upon the design to ensure its effectiveness and ease of assembly in the realm of medical technology? The construction will reveal the effectiveness of a bioprinter in the medical marketplace and if constructed can reveal any nuances in the machine and its assembly. My twin brother, Jonathan is working with me in the construction of a low-viscosity liquid bioprinter focusing on the extruder head. Working together we hope to construct a fully operational bioprinter that is of high quality and low cost for use at William and Mary.