Investigation of Additive Manufacturing Based Tissue Engineering

Open Access
Paul, Elisa Catherine
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Mary I Frecker, Thesis Supervisor
  • Domenic Adam Santavicca, Honors Advisor
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Bioprinting
Additive Manufacturing is an engineering technique in which material is deposited additively, instead of subtracted away from a quantity or made from a mold. In the past thirty years, this technology has made significant advancements and has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. Recently, this technique has been brought into use in the medical field and has become an astonishingly successful idea. It is possible to 3D print biomaterial housing (known as scaffolds) for living cells, and thus develop living organs. Although there are many challenges yet to overcome, it is clear that with continued advancements and innovative technology, additive manufacturing could completely change the face of medicine. One main issue in the ‘Tissue Engineering’ field is that of vascularization. There is currently a need for methods to effectively provide cells with proper nutrients. The research completed for this thesis investigates design and fabrication of the vascularization and how it can one day hopefully be overcome. The first objective was to determine the design parameters of a basic tissue scaffold. This information was vital to better understand how to approach a unique design. The second objective was to design a functional and effective 3D model of the scaffold. This proved to be quite a challenge due to the parameter and technology constraints. Upon deciding on a model, it was tested and analyzed. The final goal was to have a standard model so that this research may be continued in other aspects. The results of this research showed that out of four prospective designs, one stood above the rest. This design, nicknamed the ‘Stack Build’ fulfilled all predetermined design requirements, performed well in the Volume Flow Rate Test, and provided possible solution ideas to solve the vascularization issue within tissue engineering. This ‘Stack Build’ design can be used easily for future research and progression of this project.