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AUTHOR Zhang, Danwei and Jonhson, Win and Herng, Tun Seng and Ang, Yong Quan and Yang, Lin and Tan, Swee Ching and Peng, Erwin and He, Hui and Ding, Jun
Title A 3D-printing method of fabrication for metals{,} ceramics{,} and multi-materials using a universal self-curable technique for robocasting [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Materials Horizons
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Abstract
Ceramics and metals are important materials that modern technologies are constructed from. The capability to produce such materials in a complex geometry with good mechanical properties can revolutionize the way we engineer our devices. Current curing techniques pose challenges such as high energy requirements{,} limitations of materials with high refractive index{,} tedious post-processing heat treatment processes{,} uneven drying shrinkages{,} and brittleness of green bodies. In this paper{,} a novel modified self-curable epoxide–amine 3D printing system is proposed to print a wide range of ceramics (metal oxides{,} nitrides{,} and carbides) and metals without the need for an external curing source. Through this technique{,} complex multi-material structures (with metal–ceramic and ceramic–ceramic combinations) can also be realized. Tailoring and matching the sintering temperatures of different materials through sintering additives and dopants{,} combined with a structural design providing maximum adhesion between interfaces{,} allow us to successfully obtain superior quality sintered multi-material structures. High-quality ceramic and metallic materials have been achieved (e.g.{,} zirconia with >98% theoretical density). Also{,} highly conductive metals and magnetic ceramics were printed and shaped uniquely without the need for a sacrificial support. With the addition of low molecular weight plasticizers and a multi-stage heat treatment process{,} crack-free and dense high-quality integrated multi-material structures fabricated by 3D printing can thus be a reality in the near future.
AUTHOR Zhang, Danwei and Peng, Erwin and Borayek, Ramadan and Ding, Jun
Title Controllable Ceramic Green-Body Configuration for Complex Ceramic Architectures with Fine Features [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Functional Materials
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Abstract Fabrication of dense ceramic articles with intricate fine features and geometrically complex morphology by using a relatively simple and the cost-effective process still remains a challenge. Ceramics, either in its green- or sintered-form, are known for being hard yet brittle which limits further shape reconfiguration. In this work, a combinatorial process of ceramic robocasting and photopolymerization is demonstrated to produce either flexible and/or stretchable ceramic green-body (Flex-Body or Stretch-Body) that can undergo a postprinting reconfiguration process. Secondary shaping may proceed through: i) self-assembly-assisted shaping and ii) mold-assisted shaping process, which allows a well-controlled ceramic structure morphology. With a proposed well-controlled thermal heating process, the ceramic Sintered-Body can achieve >99.0% theoretical density with good mechanical rigidity. Complex and dense ceramic articles with fine features down to 65 μm can be fabricated. When combined with a multi-nozzle deposition process, i) self-shaping ceramic structures can be realized through anisotropic shrinkage induced by suspensions' composition variation and ii) technical and functional multiceramic structures can be fabricated. The simplicity of the proposed technique and its inexpensive processing cost make it an attractive approach for fabricating geometrically complex ceramic articles with unique macrostructures, which complements the existing state of-the-art ceramic additive manufacturing techniques.
AUTHOR Li, Huijun and Tan, Yu Jun and Kiran, Raj and Tor, Shu Beng and Zhou, Kun
Title Submerged and non-submerged 3D bioprinting approaches for the fabrication of complex structures with the hydrogel pair GelMA and alginate/methylcellulose [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Additive Manufacturing
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Abstract
The extrusion-based bioprinting of hydrogels such as gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) into structures with complex shape suffers from poor printability due to their low viscosity. The present study deals with hydrogel materials by using the mixture of cell-laden photopolymerizable GelMA as a main printing material and the mixture of alginate and methylcellulose (Alg/MC) as a support material because of its high viscosity and good thixotropic property. One extrusion-based approach is developed by printing the two mixtures into structures in an alternating layer-by-layer manner, with the electrostatic interactions between polycationic GelMA and polyanionic Alg/MC contributing to the integrity of the structures. The final printed structures are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light to form crosslinks in GelMA through photopolymerization for further structural strengthening. The one-time UV exposure minimizes cell damage in cell-GelMA, demonstrating an advantage over those in previously reported studies that required repeated UV exposures upon the printing of each layer of a structure. The other approach is developed by submerging the extrusion nozzle into a bath of Alg/MC to print cell-laden GelMA structures, which, upon printing completion, are also subject to one-time UV exposure before the removal of the support material Alg/MC. A flower with living cells is printed to demonstrate the capability of the second approach of fabricating structures with geometric complexity. The structures printed using both approaches demonstrate a well-maintained shape fidelity, structural integrity and cell viability of over 93% up to five culturing days. The proposed two printing approaches based on the cell-GelMA and Alg/MC pair will be beneficial for exploring new opportunities in bioprinting.
AUTHOR Zhou, Miaomiao and Lee, Bae Hoon and Tan, Yu Jun and Tan, Lay Poh
Title Microbial transglutaminase induced controlled crosslinking of gelatin methacryloyl to tailor rheological properties for 3D printing [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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Gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) is a versatile biomaterial that has been shown to possess many advantages such as good biocompatibility, support for cell growth, tunable mechanical properties, photocurable capability, and low material cost. Due to these superior properties, much research has been carried out to develop GelMA as a bioink for bioprinting. However, there are still many challenges, and one major challenge is the control of its rheological properties to yield good printability. Herein, this study presents a strategy to control the rheology of GelMA through partial enzymatic crosslinking. Unlike other enzymatic crosslinking strategies where the rheological properties could not be controlled once reaction takes place, we could, to a large extent, keep the rheological properties stable by introducing a deactivation step after obtaining the optimized rheological properties. Ca2+-independent microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) was introduced to partially catalyze covalent bond formation between chains of GelMA. The enzyme was then deactivated to prevent further uncontrolled crosslinking that would render the hydrogel not printable. After printing, a secondary post-printing crosslinking step (photo crosslinking) was then introduced to ensure long-term stability of the printed structure for subsequent cell studies. Biocompatibility studies carried out using cells encapsulated in the printed structure showed excellent cell viability for at least 7 d. This strategy for better control of rheological properties of GelMA could more significantly enhance the usability of this material as bioink for bioprinting of cell-laden structures for soft tissue engineering.
AUTHOR Lim, Seng Han and Kathuria, Himanshu and Tan, Justin Jia Yao and Kang, Lifeng
Title 3D printed drug delivery and testing systems — a passing fad or the future? [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews
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The US Food and Drug Administration approval of the first 3D printed tablet in 2015 has ignited growing interest in 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), for drug delivery and testing systems. Beyond just a novel method for rapid prototyping, AM provides key advantages over traditional manufacturing of drug delivery and testing systems. These includes the ability to fabricate complex geometries to achieve variable drug release kinetics; ease of personalising pharmacotherapy for patient and lowering the cost for fabricating personalised dosages. Furthermore, AM allows fabrication of complex and micron-sized tissue scaffolds and models for drug testing systems that closely resemble in vivo conditions. However, there are several limitations such as regulatory concerns that may impede the progression to market. Here, we provide an overview of the advantages of AM drug delivery and testing, as compared to traditional manufacturing techniques. Also, we discuss the key challenges and future directions for AM enabled pharmaceutical applications.