Printing Biomaterials:Design a Bioprinter to Manufacture Model Tissues

Our team works to design materials that mimic biological tissues. We use super hydrophilic polymers that are saturated with water (hydrogels) to build synthetic tissues. We work to design hydrogels that copy the mechanical and chemical properties of living tissues while also recapitulating tissues’ architecture. While these materials are often prepared by hand, additive manufacturing is becoming an increasingly important way of fabricating synthetic tissues and biomaterials from fluid bioinks. Fused deposition modeling (FDM) bioprinters can print geometrically complex materials with property gradients and thus enable the research community to produce increasingly biomimetic material.

During the Summer 2021 summer research session, our team designed and constructed the first iteration of a novel FDM bioprinter. This printer is able to print single-layer models. During the Fall 2021 semester, we plan to characterize and optimize this printer’s performance by modulating bioink composition, tuning printer operating characteristics, and translating 3D models to G-code to print synthetic tissues with increased complexity and spatial resolution. In undertaking this work, you join the team and jump right into printing synthetic biomaterials with a mind toward printing mimics of living tissues.

Check out this representative publication to learn more:  

Name of research group, project, or lab
Microfluidics and Biomaterials Laboratory
Why join this research group or lab?

As a member of this group, you would work on projects that collectively build knowledge at the intersection of fluid mechanics, bioengineering, and material engineering. Together, our work seeks to build tools and materials for evaluating biological function in benchtop models to uncover biological function.

Logistics Information:
Project categories
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Student ranks applicable
Student qualifications

Students with experience in building and evaluating 3D printers or who have experience digging into various slicers and knowledge of G-code are especially encouraged to apply. That being said, this project is accessible to any Mudder who is interested in learning!

Time commitment
Fall - Part Time
Spring - Part Time
Academic Credit
Number of openings
Techniques learned

3D printer design, 3D CAD and slicers, experimental design, data analysis

Contact Information:
Mentor name
Mentor email
Mentor position
Name of project director or principal investigator
Steven Santana
Email address of project director or principal investigator
2 sp. | 5 appl.
Hours per week
Fall - Part Time (+1)
Fall - Part TimeSpring - Part Time
Project categories
Mechanical Engineering (+3)
EngineeringBiomedical EngineeringChemical EngineeringMechanical Engineering