Determination Of The Geometrical And Viscoelastic Properties Of Scaffolds Made By Additive Manufacturing Using Bioplotter

Lekar a technika – Clinician and Technology 2017 Volume 47, Issue 3, pages 88–95

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a name of a group of technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material. There are many technologies, including Rapid Prototyping (RP), Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), layered manufacturing and additive fabrication. Many types of materials can be used for AM technology. Biodegradable polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), are currently the subject of intensive research in the field of additive manufacturing and regenerative medicine. A number of biodegradable and bioresorbable materials, as well as scaffold designs, have been experimentally and clinically studied in many research facilities around the world. For effective using of bioprinting technologies in tissue and biomedical engineering, the knowledge of material and technological parameters in the process of printing is necessary. In this study the 3D printer Bioplotter EnvisionTEC (the printer with ability to print different materials from hydrogel to plastic materials) was used. Scaffolds for the purpose of the experiment were prepared via extrusion-based bioprinting. Experimental part of this study was focused on defining the influence of printing parameters and technological pre-processing of the material on quality and mechanical and geometrical properties of printed parts. Testing of printed samples showed high influence of pre-processing of material, mainly drying process, on mechanical and geometric quality of samples. Drying of material before printing process makes the material more stable and allows it to maintain defined material properties for a longer time than non-dried material. Time of heating of the material in printing cartridge has also high impact on material behaviour. Test results showed that if the time of heating of the material in the high temperature cartridge exceeds defined time limit, the material starts to degrade and is no more usable.