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research-article

DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF A LOW COST THREE-DIMENSIONAL BIOPRINTER WITH INLINE LIGHT ACTIVATION

[+] Author and Article Information
Colton McElheny

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA 70803
coltonmcelheny@gmail.com

Daniel Hayes

Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA 70803
danielhayes@lsu.edu

Ram Devireddy

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA 70803
devireddy@me.lsu.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037259 History: Received May 26, 2016; Revised June 24, 2017

Abstract

Three dimensional bioprinting offers innovative research vectors for tissue engineering. However, commercially available bioprinting platforms can be cost prohibitive to small research facilities, especially in an academic setting. The goal is to design and fabricate a low-cost printing platform able to deliver cell-laden fluids with spatial accuracy along the X, Y and Z axes of 0.1 mm. The bioprinter consists of three sub-assemblies: a base unit, a gantry, and a shuttle component. The shuttle and gantry are each driven along their respective horizontal axes via separate single stepper motor, while two coupled stepper motors are used to control location along the vertical axis. The current shuttle configuration allows for a 5 mL syringe to be extruded within a work envelope of 180 mm x 160 mm x 120 mm (X, Y, Z). The motors associated with the X axis and Y axis were calibrated to approximately 0.02 mm per motor impulse. The Z axis has a theoretical step distance of ~51 nm, generating 0.04% error over a 10 mm travel distance. The A axis, or pump motor, has an impulse distance of 0.001 mm. With a 5 mL syringe possessing an inner diameter of 12.35 mm, the pump pushes as little as 0.119 µL. While the Z axis is tuned to the highest resolution settings for the motor driver, the X, Y and A axes can obtain higher or lower resolution via physical switches on the motor drivers.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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