Design and 3D Printing of Scaffolds

Design and 3D Printing of Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration

Project Description:

Tissue Engineering is a study that involves combining biological cells and engineered biomaterials together to form a building block to facilitate cell growth in areas of the human body where biological tissues are damaged. The building block, also known as a Scaffold, rapidly replaces damaged biological tissues by acting as a structural support to guide cell growth. Scaffolds are designed in CAD software and altered based on the pattern of the damaged tissue obtained from MRI/CT scans. The importance of tissue engineering is significant in the recent years due to the lack of organ donors, obstacles involving tissue transportation, and human body rejections of implanted tissues. The objective of the project is to 3D print structural formed regenerative tissues that are biocompatible and safe with prolonged contact with human physiology. The process will involve scanning and reverse engineering MRI/CT scans of destructive human cells that are in need for structural support to guide cell growth by implanting scaffolds. The MRI/CT scans will be obtained from Jesse Garant, a company that does MRI and CT Scanning. Afterwards, The MRI/CT scans will be converted into Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) files. The CAD files will be designed and implemented following damaged tissue patterns to ensure that it possess biodegradability, ideal mechanical properties to withstand surgical tasks, and a porous scaffold architecture allowing a smooth guide to cell growth. Once the CAD files of the MRI/CT scans are finalized, the new, medical grade 3D printer (Objet30 Prime) will be utilized to print prototypes of the scaffolds. Generally, Scaffolds are a combination of biological cells and structural blocks. However, due to limitations, this research does not aim to include the combination of biological cells with building blocks in the recipe of engineered tissues. Nevertheless, it will emphasize the mechanical and structural aspects of such building blocks. Candidly, this research reflects a foundation of 3D printing biological tissues from a mechanical prospective.

Advisor: Rafiq Noorani,
Project Duration: May 2017 – Dec 2017 (6 Months)

Student Duties:

The student's duties will include (but will not be limited to):

  • Research on tissue engineering and scaffold 3D bioplotting and bioprinting.
  • Obtaining MRI/CT scans to reverse engineer them using CAD software.
  • Modifying and designing CAD files based on scaffold requirements and characteristics.
  • Prototyping scaffolds
  • Redesigning modifications for these prototypes if necessary
  • Training to use the new biocompatible 3D printer (Objet30 Prime)  to post process printed prototypes.

This research requires methods of trial and error to capture raw data from MRI/CT scans with as much detail of the tissue as possible. Therefore, the student shall spend much of their time experimenting.