Polymer Processing & 3D Bioprinting/Additive Manufacturing

3D Bioprinting/Additive Manufacturing

The New Jersey Center for Biomaterials (NJCBM) uses advances of 3D bioprinting and additive manufacturing to develop advanced biomedical products for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and for drug delivery purposes. We also use the 3D printers to fabricate unique tools for culturing cells and for fabricating custom-designed surgical tools. Computer Aided Tissue Engineering from 3D CAD models are used to create physical 3D scaffolds to produce custom devices to test interaction of cells with biopolymers and implants for pre-clinical applications in animals. Our capabilities include  filament-fed 3D printers (a single head printer (Type A machine) and a dual head printer (Monoprice)), pressure assisted printers (solvent-cast printer (BioBots), several bioprinters for educational purposes (SE3D)), stereolithographic equipment using UV curable resins for making 3D molds (Formlabs), and state-of-the-art EnvisionTec’s 3D Bioplotter System (Manufacturer series BIO-01-1000). EnvisionTec Bioplotter is the most powerful 3D printer at our center that can print polymer powders, filaments, or hydrogels. A built-in camera for needle calibration ensures consistent prints.  It lets us achieve printing of a wide range of polymers including center`s proprietary formulations especially those that need high temperature and high pressure to get a fine (~100mm) filament. EnvisionTec 3D Bioplotter also offers handling of multiple materials through five print heads including polymers and hydrogels within the same structure with extreme accuracy. All of our printers enable us to produce implant prototypes faster, reproducibly, and in custom shapes that are not possible to obtain with any other techniques.

3D Printing Lab at NJCBM:  filament-fed 3D printers (a single head printer (Type A machine) and a dual head printer (Monoprice)), pressure assisted printers (solvent-cast printer (BioBots), several bioprinters for educational purposes (SE3D)), stereolithographic equipment using UV curable resins for making 3D molds (Formlabs), and state-of-the-art EnvisionTec’s 3D Bioplotter System (Manufacturer series BIO-01-1000)

Polymer processing at the NJCBM

Polymers can be processed into thin rods, fibers and filaments from polymer melts using one of the four equipments.  We have an industrial scale James extruder (> 100 g), a Randcastle mini-extruder (> 35 g), a Malvern capillary rheometer ( ~ 15 g), and a Tinius Olsen melt indexer that can process experimental polymers as little as 5 g.  We can compression mold polymers to make films ~50 mm and plastic parts ~ 5mm. One of the two Carver presses is in the clean room for preparing implantable samples. Polymers can be solution-processed by electrospinning to produce fiber mats. Porogen leached scaffolds can be produced using a bench top freeze drier for preliminary evaluations, and a computer controlled Labconco freeze drier. Polymers can be spin coated on variety of substrates on a Headway Research spin coater to make 100 nm -2 mm thin films.