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Info. Vol.14 - No.4 (2020.12.20)
Title A Multi-Inlet Microfluidic Nozzle Head with Shape Memory Alloy-Based Switching for Biomaterial Printing with Precise Flow Control
Authors Karthick Mani1, Wei-Chen Lin2, Chun-Fang Wang1, Bivas Panigrahi1, Yong-Jin Wu1, Cheng-Lung Wu3 & Chia-Yuan Chen1,*
Institutions "1Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
2Department of Parasitology, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
3Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
*Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to C.Y. Chen (chiayuac@mail.ncku.edu.tw) "
Abstract 3D bioprinting is one of the rapidly evolving fields of tissue engineering where microengineering meets cells biology within an unprecedented precision to construct tissue structures of various forms with complexity. However, enabling simultaneous printing of heterogeneous biomaterial along with scaffold components through the currently available printers is still considered as a major challenge due to the lack of instrumentation. Flow control is one of the major issues associated with the process. In this aspect, a microfluidic nozzle head equipped with two shape-memory alloy (SMA) actuators was proposed and integrated with a commercially available 3D printer to assist the biomaterial printing in a more systematic manner. The SMA actuator restrains the amount of flows for fabricating the desired scaffold components. Experimental results illustrated that the use of SMA actuator ensued a rapid and precise flow control of biomaterial and can further facilitate to maintain the width of any printed structures. As a proof of concept for the profound biomedical applications with the present manufacturing configuration, a 3D printed hydrogel platform was fabricated with demonstrated characters for later cell seeding after the printing further opens a new chapter in terms of biomaterial printing.
Keyword 3D printer, Microfluidic extruder, Shape memory alloy actuator, C6 cell
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