Efficacy of Piezoelectric Micro-jetting Technology in BioPrinting Tested
Shanghai researchers explore the use of soundwaves and inkjet bioprinting in their recently published work, ‘The Application of Piezoelectric Micro-jetting Technology in the Field of Cell Bioprinting.’ With a study centered around tissue engineering, authors Sun Huaiyuan, Song Xiaokang, Liao Yuehua, and Li Xiaoou further examine piezoelectric parameters, pulse driving voltage waveforms, and bioprinting.
The authors realize a need for bioprinting and more successful tissue engineering, especially as so many patients around the world are dying while waiting for transplants. Many medical professionals and researchers see 3D printing as a possible solution for solving the problem, and baby steps have been taken over the years toward the eventuality of creating organs and saving lives with them, with major strides in bioprinting continually happening. The research team sees numerous, current challenges holding bioprinting technology back, however, as it is difficult to obtain cells, build scaffolds, and sustain the biological material. They see great potential for the future though, stating that the problems in tissue engineering will be ‘gradually solved.’
Like other medical 3D printing technology, the ability to bioprint is centered around medical imaging and 3D modeling software programs to make models that can eventually form an intricate structure for live, sustainable cells. Technologies currently in use for bioprinting include:
With piezoelectric micro-injection technology, the goal is to use ceramic materials to spray into the nozzle, which then forms the droplets extruded for 3D printing of live tissue. The micro-jet printing system is usually comprised of an electrical controller, gas controller, and visual observation piezo head assembly constructed out of a glass capillary tube. Sound waves are used in the process after putting pressure on the glass capillary walls and then squeezing the nozzle.
The scientists go on to say that for bioprinting of single cells, the piezoelectric driving method of squeezing and expanding is more suitable than other techniques currently in use. Performance of the nozzle is completely dependent on the pulse voltage and frequency of the controller. This also determines droplet size, speed, uniformity, and linearity.
The bipolar trapezoidal wave is most commonly used in piezoelectric micro-injection, as outlined by the research team: the X-axis represents time (μs), the Y-axis represents the pulse voltage value (V), and the parameters include the pulse voltage amplitude Dwell Voltage (V) and Echo Voltage (V), positive and negative voltage holding time Dwell Time (μs) and Echo Time (μs), pulse voltage rise time Rise Time (μs), pulse voltage fall time Fall Time (μs).
Conductive materials and 3D printing have been accompanying each other for years now as innovators look at so many different ways to use them together for a variety of different applications—from liquid electronics to stretchables to the creation of resistors from conductive filament. Bioprinting has been a big focus in many research labs around the world now too as scientists look for ways to create and sustain live tissue to improve the lives of a wide range of patients. Find out more about piezoelectronic micro-jetting and bioprinting here.
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March 15, 2019 at 01:36AM