Omega 3D Bioprinting Technology
The 3Dynamic Tissue Engineering Workstation is a regenerative medicine tool used to make three dimensional tissues. Currently this technology is capable of producing heterogeneous biological support tissues for use in reconstructive surgery to treat patients with degenerative diseases. With success in producing bone and many different soft tissues, this technology can be used as an initial step towards producing many different tissue types for reconstructive surgery or for research.
Data for the fabrication of 3D structures can be taken from CT scan and/or 3D laser scan data. The application has been designed to fabricate human-specific 3D stem cell tissue structures, with future research this process is capable of also fabricating the following types of tissues, including:
- Blood vessels and arteries
- Trachea structures
- Nerve filaments
- Cornea constructs
- Tissue constructs
- Heart patches
This technology facilitates the 3D-Bioprinting of self-organising structures that result in the production of functional tissue which has useful mechanical, metabolic and biological properties which can be:
- Patient Specific
- Without mutagenesis
The 3Dynamic Omega is compact yet durable and reliable. It is controlled using a custom-built Sanguinololu electronics solution featuring a powerful ATMEGA1284 microprocessor. Each of the four axes are precision controlled using Pololu pin compatible stepper drivers. The board features a developer friendly expansion port supporting I2C, SPI, UART, as well as a few ADC pins. All 14 expansion pins can be used as GPIO as well. The board is designed to be flexible in the user's power source availability for use with any power supply 7V-30V. Silent Nema 17 stepper motors are used to provide precise motion control. These 2-phase motors inherently move in 1.8 degree increments at 200 steps per revolution and are brushless and maintenance free.
- Power: 240volt power supply 50Hz running at 10amps.
- Accuracy: ±10μm in x,y and z axis
- Speed: 1mm/sec-1 to 50mm/sec-1
- Stepper motor: 2 phase NEMA17
- Build envelope: 310mm (x) x 210mm (y) x 120mm (z)
- Extruder: Dual lead screw stepper technology
- Heating System for materials: Resistance heating 25 - 50°C
- Developer Kit: Yes
- Safety: Emergency Stop
Currently the system has been used to bioprint hydrogel-based soft tissue as well as a synthetic biocompatible bone made from Poly-capro-lactone, calcium phosphate and hydrogel matrix. This macro 3D-Bioprinting method is used to generate heterogeneous tissues by depositing a biogel mixture of living cells and appropriate scaffold materials. These pre-tissue constructs subsequently mature into a tissue over a three week period. This gives researchers in the field of tissue engineering the ability to study various tissue maturation processes. Other compatible materials all include: Polylactic acid (PLA) Polyglycolic acid (PGA), Polyethylene glycol derivatives (PEG) Fibrin, Elastin, Collagen, Alginate and Agarose.
3D Bone Engineering
Bone engineering is a useful aspect of 3D bioprinting technology which is able to produce the exact shape of a structure, with a biocompatible material which is both durable and regenerative. The artificial bones bioprinted are capable of fusing with a patient's natural bones over time with no complications. It is hoped that following regulatory approval then this technology will be commercially available by early 2018. The technology if successful after a series of trials planned for the next 12 months, should offer an alternative to conventional surgical bone grafts. In order to start the process of bioprinting bones, we have engineered a unique new material made from a combination of gelatine, agarose, collagen alginate, calcium phosphate and poly-capro-lactone.