3D Printed Bioreactors

Published on by Andrew Capel
Biologically compatible perfusion systems hold the potential to provide advances in analytical testing and live cellular imaging, as well as enhancing the physiological biomimicry of in vitro environments. Perfusion based cell culture systems require the flexibility in design to readily adapt to experimental and desired biological outputs. As such, the capacity to incorporate multiple cell laden constructs of both monolayer and tissue engineered constructs in three dimensions (3D) is essential. In addition to complete in situ phenotypic development, devices must hold optical (macro and microscopic) and analytical capability. While bio-perfusion systems, or bioreactors, that are scalable are also required to satisfy rapid high content screening applications. Advancements in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacture (AM), technology has markedly enhanced the efficiency of creating fluidic devices for chemical and biological applications, in part due to the development of inexpensive user-friendly desktop printers. As such, biocompatible polymers are now evident across a range of AM techniques. 3D printing technology provides a variety of advantages when producing functional systems, with designs also translatable to future mass production. Rapid iterations of designs allows for fluidity when developing technology, with future designs also holding the capacity for customisation toward experiment specific physiological models.

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