3D-Printing Technique for Creating Biomaterial Structures with Tailored Hierarchical Porosity

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Diagram (a) illustrates the new UCF 3D-printing technique used to produce 3D-printed porous scaffolds for cell culture. Image (b) shows the honeycomb design of scaffolds and the actual appearance of scaffolds with different processing routes after recovery from a gelatin bath. Recovered prints were immersed in cell culture media to reveal pore formation with the existence of bubbles inside the struts. Scale bars are 10mm.
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Researchers
Stephen Florczyk, Ph.D.
External Link (www.ampac.ucf.edu)
Zi Wang
Managed By
Brion Berman
Assistant Director 407.882.0342
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed

Novel printing technique enables the production of custom porous 3D printed biomaterial scaffolds

UCF researchers have developed a new 3D printing technique to produce biomaterial scaffolds with controlled porosity. This technique enables the design and production of 3D printed structures with pores throughout the scaffold, providing additional sites for seeded cells to adhere and grow.

Conventional 3D printing techniques typically generate smooth printed surfaces. Additionally, this layer-by-layer depositing method restricts the minimum resolution of printed struts to 100 μm. Thus, despite the macro-porosity between scaffold struts, such surfaces cause cells to spread into elongated spindle shapes, making it difficult to study different cellular responses. In contrast, UCF’s technique produces different 3D scaffold designs of varying pore morphology and stiffness. These features enable cells to better adhere and grow as they would in vivo, providing the opportunity to study different cellular responses and functions.

Technical Details

This invention comprises methods for producing 3D printed structures with hierarchical porosity (pores within printed features). By combining conventional extrusion-based 3D-printing with freeze casting, the technique can be used to control the pore formation of different biomaterial scaffolds for specific applications. The physical properties of the printed scaffolds can be tailored by varying parameter settings such as materials, printing patterns, and freezing temperature.

Benefits

  • Enables the production of 3D-printed structures with controlled porosity
  • Supports a variety of structural designs
  • Low cost

Applications

  • Biomaterial scaffolds for medical use
  • Energy or waste remediation applications