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AUTHOR Habelt, Bettina and Wirth, Christopher and Afanasenkau, Dzmitry and Mihaylova, Lyudmila and Winter, Christine and Arvaneh, Mahnaz and Minev, Ivan R. and Bernhardt, Nadine
Title A Multimodal Neuroprosthetic Interface to Record, Modulate and Classify Electrophysiological Biomarkers Relevant to Neuropsychiatric Disorders [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
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Abstract
Most mental disorders, such as addictive diseases or schizophrenia, are characterized by impaired cognitive function and behavior control originating from disturbances within prefrontal neural networks. Their often chronic reoccurring nature and the lack of efficient therapies necessitate the development of new treatment strategies. Brain-computer interfaces, equipped with multiple sensing and stimulation abilities, offer a new toolbox whose suitability for diagnosis and therapy of mental disorders has not yet been explored. This study, therefore, aimed to develop a biocompatible and multimodal neuroprosthesis to measure and modulate prefrontal neurophysiological features of neuropsychiatric symptoms. We used a 3D-printing technology to rapidly prototype customized bioelectronic implants through robot-controlled deposition of soft silicones and a conductive platinum ink. We implanted the device epidurally above the medial prefrontal cortex of rats and obtained auditory event-related brain potentials in treatment-naïve animals, after alcohol administration and following neuromodulation through implant-driven electrical brain stimulation and cortical delivery of the anti-relapse medication naltrexone. Towards smart neuroprosthetic interfaces, we furthermore developed machine learning algorithms to autonomously classify treatment effects within the neural recordings. The neuroprosthesis successfully captured neural activity patterns reflecting intact stimulus processing and alcohol-induced neural depression. Moreover, implant-driven electrical and pharmacological stimulation enabled successful enhancement of neural activity. A machine learning approach based on stepwise linear discriminant analysis was able to deal with sparsity in the data and distinguished treatments with high accuracy. Our work demonstrates the feasibility of multimodal bioelectronic systems to monitor, modulate and identify healthy and affected brain states with potential use in a personalized and optimized therapy of neuropsychiatric disorders.
AUTHOR Afanasenkau, Dzmitry and Kalinina, Daria and Lyakhovetskii, Vsevolod and Tondera, Christoph and Gorsky, Oleg and Moosavi, Seyyed and Pavlova, Natalia and Merkulyeva, Natalia and Kalueff, Allan V. and Minev, Ivan R. and Musienko, Pavel
Title Rapid prototyping of soft bioelectronic implants for use as neuromuscular interfaces [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Nature Biomedical Engineering
Reftype Afanasenkau2020
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Abstract
Neuromuscular interfaces are required to translate bioelectronic technologies for application in clinical medicine. Here, by leveraging the robotically controlled ink-jet deposition of low-viscosity conductive inks, extrusion of insulating silicone pastes and in situ activation of electrode surfaces via cold-air plasma, we show that soft biocompatible materials can be rapidly printed for the on-demand prototyping of customized electrode arrays well adjusted to specific anatomical environments, functions and experimental models. We also show, with the monitoring and activation of neuronal pathways in the brain, spinal cord and neuromuscular system of cats, rats and zebrafish, that the printed bioelectronic interfaces allow for long-term integration and functional stability. This technology might enable personalized bioelectronics for neuroprosthetic applications.
AUTHOR Kokkinis, Dimitri and Bouville, Florian and Studart, André R.
Title 3D Printing of Materials with Tunable Failure via Bioinspired Mechanical Gradients [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Materials
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Abstract Mechanical gradients are useful to reduce strain mismatches in heterogeneous materials and thus prevent premature failure of devices in a wide range of applications. While complex graded designs are a hallmark of biological materials, gradients in manmade materials are often limited to 1D profiles due to the lack of adequate fabrication tools. Here, a multimaterial 3D‐printing platform is developed to fabricate elastomer gradients spanning three orders of magnitude in elastic modulus and used to investigate the role of various bioinspired gradient designs on the local and global mechanical behavior of synthetic materials. The digital image correlation data and finite element modeling indicate that gradients can be effectively used to manipulate the stress state and thus circumvent the weakening effect of defect‐rich interfaces or program the failure behavior of heterogeneous materials. Implementing this concept in materials with bioinspired designs can potentially lead to defect‐tolerant structures and to materials whose tunable failure facilitates repair of biomedical implants, stretchable electronics, or soft robotics.
AUTHOR Schaffner, Manuel and Faber, Jakob A. and Pianegonda, Lucas and Rühs, Patrick A. and Coulter, Fergal and Studart, André R.
Title 3D printing of robotic soft actuators with programmable bioinspired architectures [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Nature Communications
Reftype Schaffner2018
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Abstract
Soft actuation allows robots to interact safely with humans, other machines, and their surroundings. Full exploitation of the potential of soft actuators has, however, been hindered by the lack of simple manufacturing routes to generate multimaterial parts with intricate shapes and architectures. Here, we report a 3D printing platform for the seamless digital fabrication of pneumatic silicone actuators exhibiting programmable bioinspired architectures and motions. The actuators comprise an elastomeric body whose surface is decorated with reinforcing stripes at a well-defined lead angle. Similar to the fibrous architectures found in muscular hydrostats, the lead angle can be altered to achieve elongation, contraction, or twisting motions. Using a quantitative model based on lamination theory, we establish design principles for the digital fabrication of silicone-based soft actuators whose functional response is programmed within the material's properties and architecture. Exploring such programmability enables 3D printing of a broad range of soft morphing structures.
AUTHOR Schaffner, Manuel and R{"u}hs, Patrick A. and Coulter, Fergal and Kilcher, Samuel and Studart, Andr{'e} R.
Title 3D printing of bacteria into functional complex materials [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Science Advances
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Despite recent advances to control the spatial composition and dynamic functionalities of bacteria embedded in materials, bacterial localization into complex three-dimensional (3D) geometries remains a major challenge. We demonstrate a 3D printing approach to create bacteria-derived functional materials by combining the natural diverse metabolism of bacteria with the shape design freedom of additive manufacturing. To achieve this, we embedded bacteria in a biocompatible and functionalized 3D printing ink and printed two types of {textquotedblleft}living materials{textquotedblright} capable of degrading pollutants and of producing medically relevant bacterial cellulose. With this versatile bacteria-printing platform, complex materials displaying spatially specific compositions, geometry, and properties not accessed by standard technologies can be assembled from bottom up for new biotechnological and biomedical applications.
AUTHOR Schroeder, Thomas B. H. and Guha, Anirvan and Lamoureux, Aaron and VanRenterghem, Gloria and Sept, David and Shtein, Max and Yang, Jerry and Mayer, Michael
Title An electric-eel-inspired soft power source from stacked hydrogels [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Nature
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Abstract
Progress towards the integration of technology into livingo ganisms requires electrical power sources that are biocompatible, mechanically flexible, and able to harness the chemical energy available inside biological systems. Conventional batteries were not designed with these criteria in mind. The electric organ of the knifefish Electrophorus electricus (commonly known as the electric eel) is, however, an example of an electrical power source that operates within biological constraints while featuring power characteristics that include peak potential differences of 600 volts and currents of 1 ampere1,2. Here we introduce an electric eel-inspired power concept that uses gradients of ions between miniature polyacrylamide hydrogel compartments bounded by a repeating sequence of cation- and anion-selective hydrogel membranes. The system uses a scalable stacking or folding geometry that generates 110 volts at open circuit or 27 milliwatts per square metre per gel cell upon simultaneous, self-registered mechanical contact activation of thousands of gel compartments in series while circumventing power dissipation before contact. Unlike typical batteries, these systems are soft, flexible, transparent, and potentially biocompatible. These characteristics suggest that artificial electric organs could be used to power next-generation implant materials such as pacemakers, implantable sensors, or prosthetic devices in hybrids of living and non-living systems3–6.�
AUTHOR Da Silva, Aruã Clayton and Wang, Junzhi and Minev, Ivan Rusev
Title Electro-assisted printing of soft hydrogels via controlled electrochemical reactions [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings Nature Communications
Reftype Da Silva2022
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Abstract
Hydrogels underpin many applications in tissue engineering, cell encapsulation, drug delivery and bioelectronics. Methods improving control over gelation mechanisms and patterning are still needed. Here we explore a less-known gelation approach relying on sequential electrochemical-chemical-chemical (ECC) reactions. An ionic species and/or molecule in solution is oxidised over a conductive surface at a specific electric potential. The oxidation generates an intermediate species that reacts with a macromolecule, forming a hydrogel at the electrode-electrolyte interface. We introduce potentiostatic control over this process, allowing the selection of gelation reactions and control of hydrogel growth rate. In chitosan and alginate systems, we demonstrate precipitation, covalent and ionic gelation mechanisms. The method can be applied in the polymerisation of hybrid systems consisting of more than one polymer. We demonstrate concomitant deposition of the conductive polymer Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and alginate. Deposition of the hydrogels occurs in small droplets held between a conductive plate (working electrode, WE), a printing nozzle (counter electrode, CE) and a pseudoreference electrode (reference electrode, RE). We install this setup on a commercial 3D printer to demonstrate patterning of adherent hydrogels on gold and flexible ITO foils. Electro-assisted printing may contribute to the integration of well-defined hydrogels on hybrid electronic-hydrogel devices for bioelectronics applications.
AUTHOR Rupp, Harald and Bhandary, Rajesh and Kulkarni, Amit and Binder, Wolfgang
Title Printable Electrolytes: Tuning 3D-Printing by Multiple Hydrogen Bonds and Added Inorganic Lithium-Salts [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Materials Technologies
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Abstract Here, the 3D-printing of supramolecular polymer electrolytes is reported, able to be manufactured via 3D-printing processes, additionally dynamically compensating for volume changes. A careful mechanical design, in addition to rheological effects observed for different additives to the electrolyte, is investigated and adjusted, in order to achieve printability via an extrusion process to generate a conductive electrode material. Qudruple-hydrogen bonds (UPy) act as supramolecular entities for the desired dynamic properties to adjust printability, in addition to added LiTFSi-salts to achieve ionic conductivities of ≈10–4 S cm–1 at T = 80 °C. Three different telechelic UPy-PEO/PPO-UPy-polymers with molecular weights ranging from Mn = 600–1500 g mol−1 were investigated in view of their 3D-printability by FDM-processes. It is found that there are three effects counterbalancing the rheological properties of the polymers: besides temperatures, which can be used as a known tool to adjust melt-rheology, also the addition of lithium-salts in junction with the polymers crystallinity exerts a major toolbox to 3D-print these electrolytes. Using specific compositions with Li/EO-ratios from 20:1, 10:1, and 5:1, the rheological profile can be adjusted to reach the required printability window. AT-IR-investigations clearly indicate a weakening of the UPy-bonds by the added Li+ ions, in addition to a reduction of the crystallinity of the PEO-units, further changing the rheological profile. The so generated electrolytes are printable systems for novel electrolytes.
AUTHOR Junghyun Lee and Chong {Yang Chuah} and Wen {See Tan} and Juha Song and Tae-Hyun Bae
Title 3D-printed monolithic porous adsorbents from a solution-processible, hypercrosslinkable, functionalizable polymer [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Chemical Engineering Journal
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Solid adsorbents have been actively developed for energy-efficient gas separations including carbon capture and air purification. However, conventional particulate adsorbents often show ineffective mass transfer and significant pressure drop in practical operations, leading to a limited overall performance. As a potential solution to these issues, the development of three-dimensionally (3D) structured adsorbents has been proposed. Herein, we report a novel approach to design 3D monolithic adsorbents for CO2 separation via 3D printing of a processible polymer, which in turn can be transformed into a functional porous material via hypercrosslinking and amine-grafting. Importantly, such structure can be realized without an aid from binders or mechanical supports. Our adsorbents demonstrated a promising CO2 adsorption performance without experiencing any pressure drop under dynamic flow condition. The stability and regenerability, which are also important requirements for practical operations, were also successfully demonstrated through a repetitive adsorption-desorption cycling test in the presence of water vapor. We envisage that our approach can be applied in the development of structurally versatile adsorbents for various gas separation processes.
AUTHOR Silvestri, Alessandro and Criado, Alejandro and Poletti, Fabrizio and Wang, Faxing and Fanjul-Bolado, Pablo and González-García, María B. and García-Astrain, Clara and Liz-Marzán, Luis M. and Feng, Xinliang and Zanardi, Chiara and Prato, Maurizio
Title Bioresponsive, Electroactive, and Inkjet-Printable Graphene-Based Inks [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Functional Materials
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Abstract With the advent of flexible electronics, the old fashioned and conventional solid-state technology will be replaced by conductive inks combined with low-cost printing techniques. Graphene is an ideal candidate to produce conductive inks, due to its excellent conductivity and zero bandgap. The possibility to chemically modify graphene with active molecules opens up the field of responsive conductive inks. Herein, a bioresponsive, electroactive, and inkjet-printable graphene ink is presented. The ink is based on graphene chemically modified with selected enzymes and an electrochemical mediator, to transduce the products of the enzymatic reaction into an electron flow, proportional to the analyte concentration. A water-based formulation is engineered to be respectful with the enzymatic activity while matching the stringent requirements of inkjet printing. The efficient electrochemical performance of the ink, as well as a proof-of-concept application in biosensing, is demonstrated. The versatility of the system is demonstrated by modifying graphene with various oxidoreductases, obtaining inks with selectivity toward glucose, lactate, methanol, and ethanol.
AUTHOR Li, Huijun and Zheng, Han and Tan, Yu Jun and Tor, Shu Beng and Zhou, Kun
Title Development of an Ultrastretchable Double-Network Hydrogel for Flexible Strain Sensors [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces
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The weak mechanical properties of hydrogels due to the inefficient dissipation of energy in the intrinsic structures limit their practical applications. Here, a double-network (DN) hydrogel has been developed by integrating an ionically cross-linked agar network, a covalently cross-linked acrylic acid (AAC) network, and the dynamic and reversible ionically cross-linked coordination between the AAC chains and Fe3+ ions. The proposed model reveals the mechanisms of the improved mechanical performances in the DN agar/AAC-Fe3+ hydrogel. The hydrogen-bond cross-linked double helices of agar and ionic-coordination interactions of AAC-Fe3+ can be temporarily sacrificed during large deformation to readily dissipate the energy, whereas the reversible AAC-Fe3+ interactions can be regenerated after stress relief, which greatly increases the material toughness. The developed DN hydrogel demonstrates a remarkable stretchability with a break strain up to 3174.3%, high strain sensitivity with the gauge factor being 0.83 under a strain of 1000%, and good 3D printability, making the material a desirable candidate for fabricating flexible strain sensors, electronic skin, and soft robots. The weak mechanical properties of hydrogels due to the inefficient dissipation of energy in the intrinsic structures limit their practical applications. Here, a double-network (DN) hydrogel has been developed by integrating an ionically cross-linked agar network, a covalently cross-linked acrylic acid (AAC) network, and the dynamic and reversible ionically cross-linked coordination between the AAC chains and Fe3+ ions. The proposed model reveals the mechanisms of the improved mechanical performances in the DN agar/AAC-Fe3+ hydrogel. The hydrogen-bond cross-linked double helices of agar and ionic-coordination interactions of AAC-Fe3+ can be temporarily sacrificed during large deformation to readily dissipate the energy, whereas the reversible AAC-Fe3+ interactions can be regenerated after stress relief, which greatly increases the material toughness. The developed DN hydrogel demonstrates a remarkable stretchability with a break strain up to 3174.3%, high strain sensitivity with the gauge factor being 0.83 under a strain of 1000%, and good 3D printability, making the material a desirable candidate for fabricating flexible strain sensors, electronic skin, and soft robots.
AUTHOR Zhang, Danwei and Jonhson, Win and Herng, Tun Seng and Xu, Xi and Liu, Xiaojing and Pan, Liang-ming and He, Hui and Ding, Jun
Title High Temperature Co-firing of 3D-Printed Al-ZnO/Al2O3 Multi-Material Two-Phase Flow Sensor [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Materiomics
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Sensors are crucial in the understanding of machines working under high temperatures and high-pressure conditions. Current devices utilize polymeric materials as electrical insulators which pose a challenge in the device’s lifespan. Ceramics, on the other hand, is robust and able to withstand high temperature and pressure. For such applications, a co-fired ceramic device which can provide both electrical conductivity and insulation is beneficial and acts as a superior candidate for sensor devices. In this paper, we propose a novel fabrication technique of complex multi-ceramics structures via 3D printing. This fabrication methodology increases both the geometrical complexity and the device’s shape precision. Structural ceramics (alumina) was employed as the electrical insulator whilst providing mechanical rigidity while a functional ceramic (alumina-doped zinc oxide) was employed as the electrically conductive material. The addition of sintering additives, tailoring the printing pastes’ solid loadings and heat treatment profile resolves multi-materials printing challenges such as shrinkage disparity and densification matching. Through high-temperature co-firing of ceramics (HTCC) technology, dense high quality functional multi-ceramics structures are achieved. The proposed fabrication methodology paves the way for multi-ceramics sensors to be utilized in high temperature and pressure systems in the near future.
AUTHOR Salgado-Pizarro, Rebeca and Padilla, Jose Antonio and Xuriguera, Elena and Barreneche, Camila and Fernández, Ana Inés
Title Novel Shape-Stabilized Phase Change Material with Cascade Character: Synthesis, Performance and Shaping Evaluation [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Energies
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Thermal Energy Storage (TES) materials, such as Phase Change Materials (PCMs) are proven to enhance the energy efficiency in many fields, such as automotive and building sectors, which correspond to the most energy intensive ones. Shape-stabilized PCM and cascade PCM are procedures to overcome the most important barriers when PCMs are applied since PCMs need to be encapsulated for their technical use: the leakage of the liquid phase, corrosion, low heat transfer and narrow temperature of application. In the present study, a novel shape stabilized PCM with cascade performance (cascade shape stabilized phase change material, CSS-PCM) is synthesized via dissolution, which allows up to 60 wt.% of a paraffin-PCM in the final composition. The novel CSS-PCM is based on a biopolymer, the polycaprolactone (PCL), a low melting temperature polyester as polymeric matrix and RT27 and Micronal DS 5040 acting as PCM. To evaluate the performance of the new TES materials developed, several techniques have been used: Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), and Fourier-Transformed Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy were used to evaluate the thermophysical properties and the chemical properties of the different formulations. The CSS-PCM show an increment of storage capacity by increasing the PCM content, and the thermal reliability was also tested: some of the CSS-PCM formulations were stable for up to 500 thermal cycles. Finally, as a potential application of the new polymeric-based PCM 3D, a printing attempt was performed in order to analyze the viability of the formulations to be used as 3D printing material as a first proof of concept.
AUTHOR Iria Seoane-Viaño and Patricija Januskaite and Carmen Alvarez-Lorenzo and Abdul W. Basit and Alvaro Goyanes
Title Semi-solid extrusion 3D printing in drug delivery and biomedicine: Personalised solutions for healthcare challenges [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Controlled Release
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Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an innovative additive manufacturing technology, capable of fabricating unique structures in a layer-by-layer manner. Semi-solid extrusion (SSE) is a subset of material extrusion 3D printing, and through the sequential deposition of layers of gel or paste creates objects of any desired size and shape. In comparison to other extrusion-based technologies, SSE 3D printing employs low printing temperatures which makes it suitable for drug delivery and biomedical applications, and the use of disposable syringes provides benefits in meeting critical quality requirements for pharmaceutical use. Besides pharmaceutical manufacturing, SSE 3D printing has attracted increasing attention in the field of bioelectronics, particularly in the manufacture of biosensors capable of measuring physiological parameters or as a means to trigger drug release from medical devices. This review begins by highlighting the major printing process parameters and material properties that influence the feasibility of transforming a 3D design into a 3D object, and follows with a discussion on the current SSE 3D printing developments and their applications in the fields of pharmaceutics, bioprinting and bioelectronics. Finally, the advantages and limitations of this technology are explored, before focusing on its potential clinical applications and suitability for preparing personalised medicines.
AUTHOR García-Astrain, Clara and Lenzi, Elisa and Jimenez de Aberasturi, Dorleta and Henriksen-Lacey, Malou and Binelli, Marco R. and Liz-Marzán, Luis M.
Title 3D-Printed Biocompatible Scaffolds with Built-In Nanoplasmonic Sensors [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Functional Materials
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Abstract 3D printing strategies have acquired great relevance toward the design of 3D scaffolds with precise macroporous structures, for supported mammalian cell growth. Despite advances in 3D model designs, there is still a shortage of detection tools to precisely monitor in situ cell behavior in 3D, thereby allowing a better understanding of the progression of diseases or to test the efficacy of drugs in a more realistic microenvironment. Even if the number of available inks has exponentially increased, they do not necessarily offer the required functionalities to be used as internal sensors. Herein the potential of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy for the detection of biorelevant analytes within a plasmonic hydrogel-based, 3D-printed scaffold is demonstrated. Such SERS-active scaffolds allow for the 3D detection of model molecules, such as 4-mercaptobenzoic acid. Flexibility in the choice of plasmonic nanoparticles is demonstrated through the use of gold nanoparticles with different morphologies, gold nanorods showing the best balance between SERS enhancement and scaffold transparency. Detection of the biomarker adenosine is also demonstrated as a proof-of-concept toward the use of these plasmonic scaffolds for SERS sensing of cell-secreted molecules over extended periods of time.
AUTHOR Athanasiadis, Markos and Afanasenkau, Dzmitry and Derks, Wouter and Tondera, Christoph and Murganti, Francesca and Busskamp, Volker and Bergmann, Olaf and Minev, Ivan R.
Title Printed elastic membranes for multimodal pacing and recording of human stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings npj Flexible Electronics
Reftype Athanasiadis2020
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Abstract
Bioelectronic interfaces employing arrays of sensors and bioactuators are promising tools for the study, repair and engineering of cardiac tissues. They are typically constructed from rigid and brittle materials processed in a cleanroom environment. An outstanding technological challenge is the integration of soft materials enabling a closer match to the mechanical properties of biological cells and tissues. Here we present an algorithm for direct writing of elastic membranes with embedded electrodes, optical waveguides and microfluidics using a commercial 3D printing system and a palette of silicone elastomers. As proof of principle, we demonstrate interfacing of cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), which are engineered to express Channelrhodopsin-2. We demonstrate electrical recording of cardiomyocyte field potentials and their concomitant modulation by optical and pharmacological stimulation delivered via the membrane. Our work contributes a simple prototyping strategy with potential applications in organ-on-chip or implantable systems that are multi-modal and mechanically soft.
AUTHOR Athanasiadis, Markos and Pak, Anna and Afanasenkau, Dzmitry and Minev, Ivan R.
Title Direct Writing of Elastic Fibers with Optical, Electrical, and Microfluidic Functionality [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Materials Technologies
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Abstract Direct Ink Writing is an additive fabrication technology that allows the integration of a diverse range of functional materials into soft and bioinspired devices such as robots and human-machine interfaces. Typically, a viscoelastic ink is extruded from a nozzle as a continuous filament of circular cross section. Here it is shown that a careful selection of printing parameters such as nozzle height and speed can produce filaments with a range of cross-sectional geometries. Thus, elliptic cylinder-, ribbon-, or groove-shaped filaments can be printed. By using the nozzle as a stylus for postprint filament modification, even filaments with an embedded microfluidic channel can be produced. This strategy is applied to directly write freeform and elastic optical fibers, electrical interconnects, and microfluidics. The integration of these components into simple sensor-actuator systems is demonstrated. Prototypes of an optical fiber with steerable tip and a thermal actuation system for soft tissues are presented.
AUTHOR Mestre, Rafael and Patiño, Tania and Barceló, Xavier and Anand, Shivesh and Pérez-Jiménez, Ariadna and Sánchez, Samuel
Title Force Modulation and Adaptability of 3D-Bioprinted Biological Actuators Based on Skeletal Muscle Tissue [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Materials Technologies
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Abstract The integration of biological systems into robotic devices might provide them with capabilities acquired from natural systems and significantly boost their performance. These abilities include real-time bio-sensing, self-organization, adaptability, or self-healing. As many muscle-based bio-hybrid robots and bio-actuators arise in the literature, the question of whether these features can live up to their expectations becomes increasingly substantial. Herein, the force generation and adaptability of skeletal-muscle-based bio-actuators undergoing long-term training protocols are analyzed. The 3D-bioprinting technique is used to fabricate bio-actuators that are functional, responsive, and have highly aligned myotubes. The bio-actuators are 3D-bioprinted together with two artificial posts, allowing to use it as a force measuring platform. In addition, the force output evolution and dynamic gene expression of the bio-actuators are studied to evaluate their degree of adaptability according to training protocols of different frequencies and mechanical stiffness, finding that their force generation could be modulated to different requirements. These results shed some light into the fundamental mechanisms behind the adaptability of muscle-based bio-actuators and highlight the potential of using 3D bioprinting as a rapid and cost-effective tool for the fabrication of custom-designed soft bio-robots.
AUTHOR Couck, Sarah and Saint-Remi, Julien Cousin and der Perre, Stijn Van and Baron, Gino V. and Minas, Clara and Ruch, Patrick and Denayer, Joeri F. M.
Title 3D-printed SAPO-34 monoliths for gas separation [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Microporous and Mesoporous Materials
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Abstract A 3D printing method (the Direct Ink writing, DIW, method) is applied to produce SAPO-34 zeolite based structured adsorbents with the shape of a honeycomb-like monolith. The use of the 3D printing technique gives this structure a well-defined and easily adaptable geometry. As binder material, methyl cellulose was used. The SAPO-34 monolith was characterized by SEM as well as Ar and Hg porosimetry. The CO2 adsorption affinity, capacity and heat of adsorption were determined by recording high pressure adsorption isotherms at different temperatures, using the gravimetric technique. The separation potential was investigated by means of breakthrough experiments with mixtures of CO2 and N2. The experimental selectivity of CO2/N2 separation was compared to the selectivity as predicted by the Ideal Adsorbed Solution Theory. A drop in capacity was noticed during the experiments and N2 capacities were close to zero or slightly negative due to the very low adsorption, meaning absolute selectivity values could not be determined. However, due to the low N2 capacity, experimental selectivity is estimated to be excellent as was predicted with IAST. While the 3D printing is found to be a practical, fast and flexible route to generate monolithic adsorbent structures, improvements in formulation are required in terms of sample robustness for handling purposes and heat transfer characteristics of the obtained monoliths during gas separation.
AUTHOR Agarwala, Shweta and Lee, Jia Min and Ng, Wei Long and Layani, Michael and Yeong, Wai Yee and Magdassi, Shlomo
Title A novel 3D bioprinted flexible and biocompatible hydrogel bioelectronic platform [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Biosensors and Bioelectronics
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Abstract Bioelectronics platforms are gaining widespread attention as they provide a template to study the interactions between biological species and electronics. Decoding the effect of the electrical signals on the cells and tissues holds the promise for treating the malignant tissue growth, regenerating organs and engineering new-age medical devices. This work is a step forward in this direction, where bio- and electronic materials co-exist on one platform without any need for post processing. We fabricate a freestanding and flexible hydrogel based platform using 3D bioprinting. The fabrication process is simple, easy and provides a flexible route to print materials with preferred shapes, size and spatial orientation. Through the design of interdigitated electrodes and heating coil, the platform can be tailored to print various circuits for different functionalities. The biocompatibility of the printed platform is tested using C2C12 murine myoblasts cell line. Furthermore, normal human dermal fibroblasts (primary cells) are also seeded on the platform to ascertain the compatibility.
AUTHOR Tognato, Riccardo and Armiento, Angela R. and Bonfrate, Valentina and Levato, Riccardo and Malda, Jos and Alini, Mauro and Eglin, David and Giancane, Gabriele and Serra, Tiziano
Title A Stimuli-Responsive Nanocomposite for 3D Anisotropic Cell-Guidance and Magnetic Soft Robotics [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Functional Materials
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Abstract Stimuli-responsive materials have the potential to enable the generation of new bioinspired devices with unique physicochemical properties and cell-instructive ability. Enhancing biocompatibility while simplifying the production methodologies, as well as enabling the creation of complex constructs, i.e., via 3D (bio)printing technologies, remains key challenge in the field. Here, a novel method is presented to biofabricate cellularized anisotropic hybrid hydrogel through a mild and biocompatible process driven by multiple external stimuli: magnetic field, temperature, and light. A low-intensity magnetic field is used to align mosaic iron oxide nanoparticles (IOPs) into filaments with tunable size within a gelatin methacryloyl matrix. Cells seeded on top or embedded within the hydrogel align to the same axes of the IOPs filaments. Furthermore, in 3D, C2C12 skeletal myoblasts differentiate toward myotubes even in the absence of differentiation media. 3D printing of the nanocomposite hydrogel is achieved and creation of complex heterogeneous structures that respond to magnetic field is demonstrated. By combining the advanced, stimuli-responsive hydrogel with the architectural control provided by bioprinting technologies, 3D constructs can also be created that, although inspired by nature, express functionalities beyond those of native tissue, which have important application in soft robotics, bioactuators, and bionic devices.
AUTHOR Kokkinis, Dimitri and Schaffner, Manuel and Studart, Andr{'{e}} R.
Title Multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing of composite materials
Year 2015
Journal/Proceedings Nature Communications
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