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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
DOI/URL DOI
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
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
DOI/URL DOI
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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Abstract
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 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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Abstract
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
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
DOI/URL DOI
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
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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DOI/URL DOI
Abstract
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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DOI/URL URL DOI
Abstract
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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DOI/URL URL DOI
Abstract
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
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.