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Open Access Publications from the University of California

3D Printing of Functional Biomaterials for Tissue Modeling

  • Author(s): Zhu, Wei
  • Advisor(s): Chen, Shaochen
  • et al.
Abstract

3D bioprinting is emerging as a promising tool in the tissue engineering field, providing bioengineering researchers with the unprecedented capability to engineer complex 3D biological architectures. However, there are still significant technological challenges for the existing bioprinting platforms to meet the various requirements of bioprinting functional tissue constructs and biomedical devices, from the aspects of resolution, speed, flexibility and scalability. In this dissertation, we develop and explore the applications of an advanced rapid bioprinting platform based on digital light projection technology – microscale continuous optical bioprinting (µCOB). First of all, we utilize the µCOB system to generate simple physical patterns to investigate the relative impact of cell alignment and form-induced stress on the differentiation of adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs). Secondly, we move towards the printing of more complex biomimetic scaffolds for the treatment of spinal cord injury. We show that patient specific scaffolds can be printed for precision medicine. The bioprinted scaffolds can also be loaded with neural stem cells to guide and promote the regeneration of spinal cord. Then we incorporated live cell encapsulation in the bioprinting process to build prevascularized tissues. We show the survival and progressive formation of the endothelial network both in vitro and in vivo. Next we further examine the possibility of 3D printing homogeneous hydrogel nanocomposites with functional nanoparticles. A liver-inspired 3D detoxification device is created with nanoparticles that can attract, capture and sense toxins. Lastly, we explore the printing of multiple types of nanoparticles with heterogeneous distribution to create artificial microfish. With the functional nanoparticles, the printed microfish can be chemically driven and magnetically guided for detoxification applications. Overall, this work presents an advanced rapid bioprinting platform, capable of fabricating various intricate biomimetic structures with a variety of biomaterials, cells, and functional nanoparticles for tissue engineering and biomedical research.

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