UTEP Explores 3D Bioprinting Scalability: BioAssemblyBot® vs. Cellink’s BioX™


UTEP’s new Inspired Materials and Stem Cell Based Tissue Engineering Laboratory (IMSTEL) is using stem cells for potential health applications, like stents and cardiac patches. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service

3D bioprinted hydrogels have great potential for studying new therapies, as they better support cell-cell interactions than the standard 2D assays. The University of Texas El-Paso Inspired Materials & Stem-Cell Based Tissue Engineering Lab (IMSTEL) has identified that scaling up 3D bioprinting of hydrogels from small-scale, benchtop 3D bioprinters to high throughput biofabrication systems is one of the biggest challenges to translating tissue engineering research.

The UTEP IMSTEL team has recently published a first-of-its-kind, scale-up study where they successfully translated 3D designs from a small benchtop bioprinter (Cellink’s BioX™) to a larger high-throughput bioprinting platform (BioAssemblyBot®, BAB).



A comparative study in the printability of a bioink and 3D models across two bioprinting platforms, Materials Letters, Volume 264, 2020, 127382, ISSN 0167-577X

Using an alginate-gelatin bioink, the IMSTEL team bioprinted lattice, honeycomb, and fibrous bundle patterns on each bioprinting system to compare 3D scaffolds based on morphology, structural fidelity, and microstructure. These geometries were selected as they are standard designs for 3D printing of scaffolds for cardiac, bone, and ligament tissues.

The team used Advanced Solutions’ TSIM® (Tissue Structure Information Modeling) software to optimize 3D bioprinting parameters and exported these first to BioX™ and later to BAB. They used morphological analysis and scanning-electron microscopes to comparatively analyze the structures printed on both platforms.

The UTEP team found that prints from BAB had higher resolution, ultrastructural details, and improved crosslinking in comparison to prints from BioX™. The structures printed on BAB also demonstrated more structural stability (and less swelling) compared to the structures printed on BioX™.

The authors also noted that they have no financial interests or personal relationships that might have influenced the work reported in this paper.

Read the whole study here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matlet.2020.127382.

Study Citation: Matthew Alonzo, Erick Dominguez, Fabian Alvarez-Primo, Amado Quinonez, Erik Munoz, Jazmin Puebla, Antonio Barron, Luis Aguirre, Ana Vargas, Jean M. Ramirez, Binata Joddar, A comparative study in the printability of a bioink and 3D models across two bioprinting platforms, Materials Letters, Volume 264, 2020, 127382, ISSN 0167-577X


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