Investigating biomaterial fabrication in the domains of 3D food printing and spinal implants

Date

2020-05

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Abstract

3D printing, more commonly known as additive manufacturing, is a broad categorization for fabrication of a product using computer-aided design. There are currently a variety of different methods of 3D printing in use in the industry. Due to the nature of the fabrication methods developed using 3D printing, it is becoming increasingly popular to fabricate biocompatible materials using 3D printing. The investigation for this project focuses on the fabrication of biomaterials in two different domains, 3D food printing and Spinal Implants. Two different approaches have been used for the two different investigations. For the purpose of 3D food printing, the effect of tuning the rheological properties of the ‘food ink’ was investigated. The approach was to change the composition of the substance being printed to optimize the prints. The rheological properties of commonly 3D printed food materials were investigated and a novel food material was created according to the rheological properties exhibit by the commonly 3D printed food materials. Different additives were used to influence these rheological properties of the novel food material to have better printability and structural integrity of the final prints. For the purpose of spinal implants, the properties of hybrid structures of two commonly used biomaterials (Polycaprolactone and E-shell) were investigated. The approach was to change the structure of the printed constructs to optimize the prints. E-shell is a methacrylic acid-based polymer which provides relatively high mechanical strength for 3D printed structures. Polycaprolactone (PCL), on the other hand, is commonly used for cell-seeding and provides a good surface for cells to grow on. However, PCL is relatively weak and has relatively low mechanical strength. Combining these two materials in a ‘hybrid structure’ results to obtaining good structural properties along with a structure more permissive of cell growth, compared to either material individually.

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Keywords

Biomaterial, Three dimensional (3-D) printing

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