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Engineering Challenges in Biofabrication

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Biofabrication describes the inkjet application of bioink which may include active compounds such as drugs and living cells as well as non active, scaffolding materials to build two- and three-dimensional constructs for medical treatment. Many of the challenges in tissue engineering generally and biofabrication specifically are biological in nature; however, many appear to fall within the realm of imaging and science and technology. One challenge is to arrange the donor cells into the exact patterns that will promote growth towards the desired tissue form and function. Of the many approaches that have been suggested to accurately place cells the inkjet printing approach is one of the more interesting. In these devices researchers have tailored their bioinks by two approaches, namely using new biomaterials that fit the processing window of commercial printers or developing new systems that use the biomaterials as bioink directly. Tailoring the physical properties of these inks, and developing printheads optimized for these properties will improve cell density, and the tissue fabrication speed. Biofabricated tissues can be used to build models of the effects of local environment on different cell types. The models can be incorporated into computer design and simulation environment in order to predict tissue function.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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