A stereolithography-based bioprinting platform for multimaterial fabrication of heterogeneous hydrogel constructs is presented. Dynamic patterning by a digital micromirror device, synchronized by a moving stage and a microfluidic device containing four on/off pneumatic valves, is used to create 3D constructs. The novel microfluidic device is capable of fast switching between different (cell-loaded) hydrogel bioinks, to achieve layer-by-layer multimaterial bioprinting. Compared to conventional stereolithography-based bioprinters, the system provides the unique advantage of multimaterial fabrication capability at high spatial resolution. To demonstrate the multimaterial capacity of this system, a variety of hydrogel constructs are generated, including those based on poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) and gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA). The biocompatibility of this system is validated by introducing cell-laden GelMA into the microfluidic device and fabricating cellularized constructs. A pattern of a PEGDA frame and three different concentrations of GelMA, loaded with vascular endothelial growth factor, are further assessed for its neovascularization potential in a rat model. The proposed system provides a robust platform for bioprinting of high-fidelity multimaterial microstructures on demand for applications in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and biosensing, which are otherwise not readily achievable at high speed with conventional stereolithographic biofabrication platforms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering