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Aquatic 3D Bioprinting

3D Printing Industry reports on a new 3D bioprinting process.  This process is unique in that the 3D printing occurs in water.  This will lead to faster 3D print times.

“When working with living cells, hydrogels and bioscaffolds are typically used as support material to grow tissue.  As such, there is a growing volume of 3D bioprinting research concerning the optimal environment and materials for cell growth.  With this in mind, it becomes clear why water may be a good environment to 3D print a structure for medical use.”

Enter materials scientists Shlomo Magdassi, who led teams at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Maryland in the United States in the “research into a new family of photoinitiators for use in digital light processing (DLP).  These additives, which cause rapid solidification of a liquid material, create faster reactions when exposed to light.”  By 3D printing in water, the process allows for medical applications, “leading toward a competitive response for patient specific implants and tissues.”

“The key to rapid 3D printing of Magdassi’s team’s initiators is in their ability to split water, and absorb oxygen molecules, which typically inhibit the performance of the process.  The particles added as the photoinitiator in this case are semi-conductive metal hybrid nanoparticles (HNPs), and are used to create high-resolution 3D objects on a sub-microscopic scale…degree of polymerization in material including the HNPs is significantly faster than light-restive material used without the particles.”

As the teams concluded: “the semiconductor and metal segments can be tuned in terms of their composition, size, shape, and relative location toward optimal performance in photopolymerization and in particular in 3D printing.”  Yet again, 3D printing is the champion of flexibility and customization.

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry

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