UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development of a visible light stereolithography-based bioprinting system for tissue engineering Wang, Zongjie


Stereolithography-based bioprinting has been considered as a promising solution to generate cell-laden biomaterials for tissue engineering. However, most of the stereolithography-based bioprinting systems employed ultra-violet light to solidify the bioink, a combination of biomaterials and cells. The illumination of ultra-violet light can induce DNA damage and cell cancerization. Therefore, it is safer to utilize non-harmful visible light source for stereolithography-based bioprinting. This thesis presents the design of a simple, low-cost visible light based stereolithography bioprinting system, as well as two novel bioinks supporting visible light solidification. The key features of the developed stereolithography bioprinting system, including the resolution and printing time, were tested. It is found that the low-cost system could reach 60 μm resolution and the printing time for a 100 μm thick layer is less than 4 minutes. The two novel bioinks, named PEGDA-GelMA and GelMA, were characterized to show their mechanical properties and biological compatibility. The PEGDA-GelMA is non cell-adhesive, but with better controllability in its stiffness. The GelMA is relatively soft but cell-adhesive. The system and materials were utilized together in the bioprinting process of NIH-3T3 fibroblast cells. Experimental results show that the cell viability was greater than 85% right after printing. The cells could grow in the bioinks properly for at least five days, proving the feasibility of developed bioprinting solution. Taken together, the developed bioprinting system provides a low-cost visible light stereolithography solution and has the potential to be widely used in tissue engineering applications.

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