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AUTHOR Asulin, Masha and Michael, Idan and Shapira, Assaf and Dvir, Tal
Title One-Step 3D Printing of Heart Patches with Built-In Electronics for Performance Regulation [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Science
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Abstract Three dimensional (3D) printing of heart patches usually provides the ability to precisely control cell location in 3D space. Here, one-step 3D printing of cardiac patches with built-in soft and stretchable electronics is reported. The tissue is simultaneously printed using three distinct bioinks for the cells, for the conducting parts of the electronics and for the dielectric components. It is shown that the hybrid system can withstand continuous physical deformations as those taking place in the contracting myocardium. The electronic patch is flexible, stretchable, and soft, and the electrodes within the printed patch are able to monitor the function of the engineered tissue by providing extracellular potentials. Furthermore, the system allowed controlling tissue function by providing electrical stimulation for pacing. It is envisioned that such transplantable patches may regain heart contractility and allow the physician to monitor the implant function as well as to efficiently intervene from afar when needed.
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 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 Jung, Harry and Lee, Ji Seung and Lee, Jun Ho and Park, Ki Joon and Lee, Jae Jun and Park, Hae Sang
Title A Feasibility Study for 3D-printed Poly(methyl methacrylate)-resin Tracheostomy Tube Using a Hamster Cheek Pouch Model
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings In Vivo
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AUTHOR Tan, Wen See and Juhari, Muhammad Aidil Bin and Shi, Qian and Chen, Shengyang and Campolo, Domenico and Song, Juha
Title Development of a new additive manufacturing platform for direct freeform 3D printing of intrinsically curved flexible membranes [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Additive Manufacturing
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The wearable technology market has been expanding from wearable medical devices for non-invasive continuous monitoring of patient vital signs to wearable devices for tracking fitness activities that any person can access. Regardless of their form or function, desirable characteristics of wearable devices are the ability to be flexible, conformal, and easily attachable to the human body. However, as the human body is intrinsically curved and irregular, flat devices often have poor interfacial adhesion with the human body. This often leads to interfacial delamination and eventual detachment of the device. Therefore, a new additive manufacturing (AM) platform, a direct freeform 3D printing process (DF3DP), is proposed to allow direct construction of intrinsically curved 3D surfaces during the material deposition phase without the need for any pre-shaped supporting molds or templates. This 3D freeform printing process involves a supporting matrix made up of calcium alginate microgels, printing material made from silicone ink, and freeform printing paths derived from customized G-codes that conform exactly to the scanned human surface profile. Curved meshes mimicking the human elbow were used as a demonstration. A static contact stability test showed that the printed 3D silicone mesh was highly conformal to the model elbow surface as compared to a 2D flat mesh. A dynamic contact stability test was also conducted by subjecting both meshes to 100 cycles of mechanical flexion and extension, proving that intrinsically curved surfaces can provide better contact stability for complex human body surfaces undergoing motion than can flat surfaces. These results have proven that intrinsically curved membranes or structures fabricated by DF3DP can reduce the interfacial shear stress and occurrence of cracks and delamination while maintaining structural integrity and stability during use without compromising the comfort of the users. Our approach can resolve interfacial issues in flexible substrates and has great potential for epidermal devices or soft robotics via its long-term sustainable performance.
AUTHOR Plou, Javier and García, Isabel and Charconnet, Mathias and Astobiza, Ianire and García-Astrain, Clara and Matricardi, Cristiano and Mihi, Agustín and Carracedo, Arkaitz and Liz-Marzán, Luis M.
Title Multiplex SERS Detection of Metabolic Alterations in Tumor Extracellular Media [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Functional Materials
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Abstract The composition and intercellular interactions of tumor cells in the tissues dictate the biochemical and metabolic properties of the tumor microenvironment. The metabolic rewiring has a profound impact on the properties of the microenvironment, to an extent that monitoring such perturbations could harbor diagnostic and therapeutic relevance. A growing interest in these phenomena has inspired the development of novel technologies with sufficient sensitivity and resolution to monitor metabolic alterations in the tumor microenvironment. In this context, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) can be used for the label-free detection and imaging of diverse molecules of interest among extracellular components. Herein, the application of nanostructured plasmonic substrates comprising Au nanoparticles, self-assembled as ordered superlattices, to the precise SERS detection of selected tumor metabolites, is presented. The potential of this technology is first demonstrated through the analysis of kynurenine, a secreted immunomodulatory derivative of the tumor metabolism and the related molecules tryptophan and purine derivatives. SERS facilitates the unambiguous identification of trace metabolites and allows the multiplex detection of their characteristic fingerprints under different conditions. Finally, the effective plasmonic SERS substrate is combined with a hydrogel-based three-dimensional cancer model, which recreates the tumor microenvironment, for the real-time imaging of metabolite alterations and cytotoxic effects on tumor cells.
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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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 Tan, Wen See and Shi, Qian and Chen, Shengyang and Bin Juhari, Muhammad Aidil and Song, Juha
Title Recyclable and biocompatible microgel-based supporting system for positive 3D freeform printing of silicone rubber [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Biomedical Engineering Letters
Reftype Tan2020
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Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM) of biomaterials has evolved from a rapid prototyping tool into a viable approach for the manufacturing of patient-specific implants over the past decade. It can tailor to the unique physiological and anatomical criteria of the patient’s organs or bones through precise controlling of the structure during the 3D printing. Silicone elastomers, which is a major group of materials in many biomedical implants, have low viscosities and can be printed with a special AM platform, known as freeform 3D printing systems. The freeform 3D printing systems are composed of a supporting bath and a printing material. Current supporting matrices that are either commercially purchased or synthesized were usually disposed of after retrieval of the printed part. In this work, we proposed a new and improved supporting matrix comprises of synthesized calcium alginate microgels produced via encapsulation which can be recycled, reused, and recovered for multiple prints, hence minimizing wastage and cost of materials. The dehydration tolerance of the calcium alginate microgels was improved through physical means by the addition of glycerol and chemical means by developing new calcium alginate microgels encapsulated with glycerol. The recyclability of the heated calcium alginate microgels was also enhanced by a rehydration step with sodium chloride solution and a recovery step with calcium chloride solution via the ion exchange process. We envisaged that our reusable and recyclable biocompatible calcium alginate microgels can save material costs, time, and can be applied in various freeform 3D printing systems.
AUTHOR Döhler, Diana and Kang, Jiheong and Cooper, Chris Brittain and Tok, Jeffrey B.-H. and Rupp, Harald and Binder, Wolfgang H. and Bao, Zhenan
Title Tuning the Self-Healing Response of Poly(dimethylsiloxane)-Based Elastomers [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings ACS Appl. Polym. Mater.
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We present a comprehensive investigation of mechanical properties of supramolecular polymer networks with rationally developed multistrength hydrogen-bonding interactions. Self-healing poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-based elastomers with varying elasticity, fracture toughness, and the ability to dissipate strain energy through the reversible breakage and re-formation of the supramolecular interactions were obtained. By changing the ratio between isophorone diisocyanate (IU), 4,4′-methylenebis(cyclohexyl isocyanate) (MCU), and 4,4′-methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate) (MPU) and by varying the molecular weight of the PDMS precursor, we obtained a library of poly(urea)s to study the interplay of mechanical performance and self-healability. The Young’s moduli of the presented materials ranged between 0.4 and 13 MPa and increased with decreasing molecular weight of the PDMS precursor and increasing content of MCU or MPU units related to the formation of stronger hydrogen-bonding interactions. By exchanging MPU against MCU units, we achieved an optimum balance between mechanical properties and self-healing performance, and by the additional reduction of the molecular weight of the precursor polymer, a minimum recovery of 80% in stress within 12 h at room temperature was observed. Selected poly(urea)s could be processed via 3D printing by the conventional extrusion method, obtaining dimensionally stable and freestanding objects. We present a comprehensive investigation of mechanical properties of supramolecular polymer networks with rationally developed multistrength hydrogen-bonding interactions. Self-healing poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-based elastomers with varying elasticity, fracture toughness, and the ability to dissipate strain energy through the reversible breakage and re-formation of the supramolecular interactions were obtained. By changing the ratio between isophorone diisocyanate (IU), 4,4′-methylenebis(cyclohexyl isocyanate) (MCU), and 4,4′-methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate) (MPU) and by varying the molecular weight of the PDMS precursor, we obtained a library of poly(urea)s to study the interplay of mechanical performance and self-healability. The Young’s moduli of the presented materials ranged between 0.4 and 13 MPa and increased with decreasing molecular weight of the PDMS precursor and increasing content of MCU or MPU units related to the formation of stronger hydrogen-bonding interactions. By exchanging MPU against MCU units, we achieved an optimum balance between mechanical properties and self-healing performance, and by the additional reduction of the molecular weight of the precursor polymer, a minimum recovery of 80% in stress within 12 h at room temperature was observed. Selected poly(urea)s could be processed via 3D printing by the conventional extrusion method, obtaining dimensionally stable and freestanding objects.
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 Fortunato, Gabriele Maria and Maria, Carmelo De and Eglin, David and Serra, Tiziano and Vozzi, Giovanni
Title An ink-jet printed electrical stimulation platform for muscle tissue regeneration [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Bioprinting
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Conducting polymeric materials have been used to modulate response of cells seeded on their surfaces. However, there is still major improvement to be made related to their biocompatibility, conductivity, stability in biological milieu, and processability toward truly tissue engineered functional device. In this work, conductive polymer, poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene):polystyrene-sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS), and its possible applications in tissue engineering were explored. In particular PEDOT:PSS solution was inkjet printed onto a gelatin substrate for obtaining a conductive structure. Mechanical and electrical characterizations, structural stability by swelling and degradation tests were carried out on different PEDOT-based samples obtained by varying the number of printed PEDOT layers from 5 to 50 on gelatin substrate. Biocompatibility of substrates was investigated on C2C12 myoblasts, through metabolic activity assay and imaging analysis during a 7-days culture period, to assess cell morphology, differentiation and alignment. The results of this first part allowed to proceed with the second part of the study in which these substrates were used for the design of an electrical stimulation device, with the aim of providing the external stimulus (3 V amplitude square wave at 1 and 2 Hz frequency) to guide myotubes alignment and enhance differentiation, having in this way promising applications in the field of muscle tissue engineering.
AUTHOR Bastola, A. K. and Paudel, M. and Li, L.
Title Development of hybrid magnetorheological elastomers by 3D printing [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Polymer
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Intelligent or smart materials have one or more properties that can be significantly changed in a controlled fashion by external stimuli, such as temperature, pH, electric or magnetic fields, etc. Magnetorheological (MR) materials are a class of smart materials whose properties can be varied by applying an external magnetic field. In this work, the possibility of employing a suitable 3D printing technology for the development of one of the smart MR materials, the magnetorheological elastomer (MRE) has been explored. In order to achieve such 3D printing, a multi-material printing is implemented, where a controlled volume of MR fluid is encapsulated within an elastomer matrix in the layer-by-layer fashion. The choice of printing materials determines the final structure of the 3D printed hybrid MR elastomer. Printing with a vulcanizing MR suspension produces the solid MR structure inside the elastomer matrix while printing with a non-vulcanizing MR suspension (MR fluid) results in the structures that the MR fluid is encapsulated inside the elastomer matrix. The 3D printability of different materials has been studied by measuring their rheological properties and we found that the highly shear thinning and thixotropic properties are important for 3D printability. The quality of the printed filaments strongly depends on the key printing parameters such as extrusion pressure, initial height and feed rate. The experimental results from the forced vibration testing show that the 3D printed MR elastomers could change their elastic and damping properties when exposed to the external magnetic field. Furthermore, the 3D printed MR elastomer also exhibits the anisotropic behavior when the direction of the magnetic field is changed with respect to the orientation of the printed filaments. This study has demonstrated that the 3D printing is viable for fabrication of hybrid MR elastomers with controlled structures of magnetic particles or MR fluids.
AUTHOR Bastola, A. K. and Hoang, V. T. and Li, L.
Title A novel hybrid magnetorheological elastomer developed by 3D printing [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Materials and Design
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Abstract In this study, a novel magnetorheological (MR) hybrid elastomer has been developed using a 3D printing method. In such an MR hybrid elastomer, a controlled volume of an MR fluid was encapsulated layer by layer into an elastomer matrix by means of a 3D printer and each layer was a composite structure consisting of an MR fluid and an elastomer. Similar to current MR fluids and MR elastomers, mechanical properties of 3D printed MR hybrid elastomers could be controlled via an externally applied magnetic field. The experimental results showed that the relative change in the damping capability of the new MR elastomer was more pronounced than the change in its stiffness when exposed to an external magnetic field. The study demonstrated that the 3D printing technique is feasible for fabrication of MR elastomers with controlled microstructures including magnetic particles or MR fluids. The 3D printed MR hybrid elastomer is also a potential material as a tunable spring-damper element.