Biomaterials used for fabricating 3D tissue constructs need to provide a permissive environment for cellular processes while also maintaining high levels of structure fidelity. It is common for materials that are biologically friendly to exhibit lower viscosity, rendering a lower structural fidelity. Therefore, there is a large collection of materials that contain chemical moieties for bulking up the material after the extrusion process that become activated with light. The BioAssemblyBot® family of bioprinters can be equipped with print heads that enable the light-based crosslinking of materials.
The UV print heads (3D Syringe | UV and 3D Syringe | Hot + UV) for the BioAssemblyBot® platform provide on-tool light-based crosslinking that can be executed while a material is being extruded or conduct a cure path post-printing as per the user input parameters. This ring light-based technology is available at both 365nm and 405nm wavelengths and is rated at 300-watt cm2, with the ability to change values at 1mw increments. Options for extrusion include ambient or room-temperature based prints as well as heated extrusion, where the material can be heated up to 150C (see Figure 2). Bringing in this capability to a workflow is made seamless through automated tool calibration and the intuitive materials settings interface within the TSIM® software program. Altogether, these innovations enable higher success rates in the utilization of materials that require light-based crosslinking for fabricating 3D tissue constructs.